US v. Mongold, 12-7073 (10th Cir. 2013)-Officers entered a home after the door was opened in response to a knock. The officers smelled marijuana. They forced their way in to prevent the destruction of evidence. The court found the entry was unlawful. Before an officer can, without warrant, enter a home to prevent the destruction of evidence the following criteria must be met: a. The entry must be based on probable cause. b. There must be a "serious crime". c. The destruction of evidence is likely.
The court determined that lacking probable cause of distribution or trafficking of marijuana, the odor only indicates simple possession, which in Oklahoma where the case originated is a misdemeanor offense. Therefore, the "serious crime" requirement was not met.
US v. Jackson, 12-4559 (4th Cir, 2013)-A trash can belonging to an apartment tenant was placed on the grassy area by the apartment. The area is a common area shared by all the tenants. Officers removed trash from the can without a warrant. The court held that the common area shared by tenants is not part of the curtilage of the defendant's apartment. The warrantless removal of the trash was lawful.
US v. Cowan, 11-1525 (8th Cir, 2012)-Cowan was in an apartment that was being searched by officers executing a search warrant. An officer pat searched Cowan and found a key fob. The officer activated the fob and a vehicle in the parking lot. A canine was used to sniff the vehicle. The dog alerted the vehicle was searched without a warrant. Crack cocaine was found in the vehicle. The 8th Circuit Court held that the use of the fob was not unreasonable. The fob only identified the vehicle. Alternatively, the officer could have ran the tags on the vehicles until he found Cowan's vehicle, or watched for Cowan to leave and see which vehicle he got into. The use of the fob to find the vehicle and the subsequent canine sniff and warrantless search of the vehicle was lawful.
Bailey v. US, 11-770 (2013)-The three reasons for detaining a subject at the scene of an executed search warrant listed under Michigan v. Summers do not apply to occupants of a vehicle that had already left the scene.
Bobby v. Dixon, 10-1540 (2011)-A person cannot invoke his Miranda Rights anticipatorily in other situations other than a custodial interrogation. In this case, the police met with Dixon at the police station when he came in to get a car out of impound. Dixon was not under arrest, but was contacted by a detective. The detective read him his Miranda Rights and asked him about the disappearance of a person named Hammer. Dixon refused to answer questions without his lawyer present. He left the station. A few days later, he was arrested for forgery. He was read his rights and questioned again. He confessed to murdering Hammer. The 6th Circuit Court tossed the confession. It held that because Dixon invoked his rights to have a lawyer present the day he got the vehicle out of impound, the interrogation 5 days later violated his rights. The Supreme Court reversed. It held that a person can only invoke his rights when in custody. The first time Dixon was questioned, he was not in custody. Therefore, the second questioning under Miranda was not affected. This case also means that a person who is about to be or just been arrested cannot just blurt out that he will not talk to the police without his attorney. The person has to be taken into custody and the police have to read the Miranda Rights before the person can invoke his rights.
Search and Seizure-Traffic-
Speight v. US, 671 a.2d 442 (DC Court of Appeals, 1996)-The police can search a parked vehicle without a warrant based on probable cause. The Court stated, "if the search and seizure without a warrant are made upon probable cause, that is, upon a belief, reasonably arising out of circumstances known to the seizing officer, that an automobile or other vehicle contains that which by law is subject to seizure and destruction, the search and seizure are valid."
Maryland v. King, No. 12–207 (2013)-Held: When officers make an arrest supported by probable cause to hold for a serious offense and bring the suspect to the station to be detained in custody, taking and analyzing a cheek swab of the arrestee’s DNA is, like fingerprinting and photographing, a legitimate police booking procedure that is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment.
Missouri v. McNeely, No. 11–1425 (SCOTUS, 2013)-This is a drunk-driving case involving a warrantless blood draw. The driver, McNeely, was stopped for a traffic violation. He refused to take the breath test. The officer arrested McNeely and took him to the hospital and compelled him to submit to a warrantless blood draw. The Court held that with no other factors suggesting an emergency other than the dissipation of blood alcohol on a routine drunk driving case violated McNeely’s Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches.
The Court also refused to establish a bright line rule of when an emergency exists justifying a warrantless blood draw. The totality of the circumstances for each case will be the determining factor.
Although not expressed in this ruling, the Court has determined that in order for police to enter into a residence and arrest without a warrant there must be both a serious offense and exigent circumstances (see Payton v. New York and Mascorro v. Billings). For a drunk driving case to be consistent it will need to involve something like an accident with serious injury or death before a warrantless blood draw would be allowed.
US v. Uribe, No. 11-3590 (7th Cir. 2013)-Uribe was driving through the state of Indiana in a blue Nissan registered in Utah. An officer ran the vehicle regisitration which listed the vehicle as white. The officer stopped the vehicle for the color discrepancy. The stop lead to the discovery of a pound pof heroin. Uribe was arrested. Uribe made a motion to suppress the evidence in district court. The motion was granted. The Circuit Court upheld the suppression stating, "investigatory stops based on color discrepancies alone are insufficient to give rise to reasonable suspicion." The suppression of the evidence was affirmed.