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Get ready for the subpoena for computers

gavel2 1 With the advent of personal computers, the courts have had to develop law on how to apply the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures to police efforts to obtain evidence from computers. How search warrants to obtain such information fit within the constitutional scheme was explored by Maryland’s intermediate appellate court in an opinion issued this week in a case called John Fone v. State of Maryland.

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Handcuffed but not arrested

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One area of criminal law that has been the subject of many appellate opinions is the notion of “stop and frisk,” as originally adopted in the Supreme Court’s opinion in 1968 in Terry v. Ohio. Although the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures protects persons from a warrantless arrest without probable cause, where the police have a reasonable suspicion that a person may be armed and dangerous that is enough to stop them and frisk or search their person for a weapon. Whether this allows the police to actually handcuff such a person was explored by a recent case from Maryland’s highest court called Ira Chase v. State.

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Another reason not to drink and drive

Driving a vehicle after consuming alcohol is not only illegal and very dangerous, but puts the driver at risk of arrest and serious legal consequences. This may include a search of the driver’s vehicle following an arrest, as explained in a recent opinion from Maryland’s highest Court called Taylor v. State.

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The DUI and the car search

 

scales of justiceThe circumstances under which a car may be searched after an arrest have been discussed in many reported appellate cases. The Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against warrantless searches of individuals’ “persons, houses, papers and effects” has been held applicable to a motor vehicle they occupied. How this works when a person has been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) was explored by Maryland’s intermediate appellate court in the case of Efrain Taylor v. State.

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Leggett sides with civil liberties supporters

  • Published in Local

IkeLeggettROCKVILLE – Due to actions by the county executive this week, Montgomery County is just one of three jurisdictions in Maryland that requires probable cause per the Fourth Amendment before honoring a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer request for undocumented immigrants being held in local detention centers.

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Cell phones and the Fourth

gavel2It is rare that a case is reported from today’s Supreme Court that is a unanimous decision. However, the opinion last month in Riley v. California shows how the Court is willing to extend Fourth Amendment protections against improper searches and seizures in the digital age.

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Cell phones are off-limits

  • Published in Local

 

cell phoneThe Supreme Court ruled unanimously on June 25 that police must obtain a search warrant to search the cell phones of people they arrest, a decision that defense attorneys are praising for its protection of citizens’ Fourth Amendment rights.

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