So, okay, we’ve established probable cause. What does probable cause entitle the police to do? Well, for one thing, it can serve as a necessary condition for a search. In order to get a search warrant, among other things, probable cause must be established. The probable cause affidavit submitted by the police as a basis … Continue reading “Probable Cause”: What Does It Entitle the Police to Do? Mean?
Following up on the definition of “probable cause,” it is important to note some of the facts or circumstances that have been held to, or not to, establish probable cause. For example, running away or “flight” does not, by itself, establish probable cause. Neither do “furtive” hand or head movements in a vehicle. Nervousness, inconsistent … Continue reading “Probable Cause”: How is it established?
There are many terms thrown around in the legal “biz” that confuse ordinary people. One of these terms is “probable cause.” What is “probable cause” in Pennsylvania and what does having it entitle the authorities to do? “Probable cause” is defined as “facts available to the officers at the moment of the arrest which ‘would … Continue reading “Probable Cause”: What Does It Mean?
Can the police search your car? The general rule in Pennsylvania for any search is that a search warrant is required. However, this requirement is subject to several exceptions. In addition to normal exceptions such as “plain view” (the incriminating evidence or contraband is within the “plain view” of the police while standing in an … Continue reading Automobile Searches
A “consent” search is nothing more than a search conducted after a person gives consent to search his or her property to police. A search warrant requires the police to justify a search with probable cause and to describe the area and the materials sought with particularity. A consent search gives the police the ability … Continue reading “Consent” Searches
Another type of stop that fits under the definitiion of “investigative detention” is the “Terry stop.” Named after the United States Supreme court case that defined it, a Terry stop is a search limited under Pennsylvania law by reasonable suspicion regarding activites personally observed by the officer and a reasonable belief that the suspect is … Continue reading Search and Seizure: “Terry Stops”
Police interactions with the public are defined as “mere encounters,” “investigative detentions,” or “arrests.” Constitutional protections against unreasonable “searches and seizures” extend only to those instances in which a “seizure” of the individual has occurred. A “seizure” occurs only when a reasonable individual would not fee “free to leave.” Any interaction where a reasonable individual … Continue reading Search and Seizure: “Mere Encounters” and “investigative Detentions”
One of the well-known exceptions to the requirement of a search warrant before a search may be conducted is consent to the search. Valid consent may render an otherwise illegal search permissible. Commonwealth v. Cleckley, 738 A.2d 427, 429 (Pa. 1999); Commonwealth v. Gillespie, 821 A. 2d 1221, 1225 (Pa. 2003). At any proceeding challenging … Continue reading Consent to Search
Judge John A. Boccabella, in the case of Commonwealth v. Henderson, 103 Berks Co. L. Journal 122 (January 13, 2011), sentenced a DUI defendant to 90 days to 5 years with a special condition that, in lieu of incarceration, the defendant be placed on electronic monitoring for 90 days. The Commonwealth appealed the sentence, raising the issue … Continue reading DUI Court in Berks County Sentences to Electronic Monitoring for Mandatory Minimum Sentence
On January 24, 2011, the Superior Court handed down a decision holding that county IPP plans may not arbitrarily ban certain types of defendants from the program if the defendants have not been made ineligible by the Legislature. In Sarapa, the defendant had been sentenced to ninety days to 23 months for her plea to DUI-highest rate and … Continue reading Com.v. Sarapa , —A.3d.—, 2011 WL 198461, 2011 PA Super 18 (Pa.Super.,Jan.24, 2011): The Availability of County IPP for DUI Offenders with Mandatory Sentences