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Legal Focus on Constitutional Law Daytona State College School of Emergency Services Introduction to Law Focus on Constitutional Law.

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Presentation on theme: "Legal Focus on Constitutional Law Daytona State College School of Emergency Services Introduction to Law Focus on Constitutional Law."— Presentation transcript:

1 Legal Focus on Constitutional Law Daytona State College School of Emergency Services Introduction to Law Focus on Constitutional Law

2 Legal Focus on Constitutional Law Daytona State College School of Emergency Services Objectives Importance of the U.S. Constitution to policeImportance of the U.S. Constitution to police Bill of RightsBill of Rights Basic conceptsBasic concepts Articles of the ConstitutionArticles of the Constitution Supremacy clauseSupremacy clause AmendmentsAmendments

3 Legal Focus on Constitutional Law Daytona State College School of Emergency Services Objectives First AmendmentFirst Amendment Second AmendmentSecond Amendment Fourth AmendmentFourth Amendment Fifth AmendmentFifth Amendment Sixth AmendmentSixth Amendment Eighth AmendmentEighth Amendment Fourteenth AmendmentFourteenth Amendment Case lawCase law

4 Legal Focus on Constitutional Law Daytona State College School of Emergency Services The U.S. Constitution Basic conceptsBasic concepts –Protection from government abuse –Case law interprets the Constitution –Defines law enforcement (executive branch) role –All people stand equal before the law HistoryHistory –Constitution was written in the late 1780’s –Concepts apply today

5 Legal Focus on Constitutional Law Daytona State College School of Emergency Services The U.S. Constitution Basic ConceptsBasic Concepts –People share rights Freedom of speech Protection against unreasonable searches and seizures –An arrest is a seizure under the Constitution Prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment –Described in the Bill of Rights

6 Legal Focus on Constitutional Law Daytona State College School of Emergency Services The U.S. Constitution Purpose of governmentPurpose of government –Secure and protect the people’s rights –Be the agent of the people, not their master –Law enforcement officer represents government Constitution sets parameters within which government operates and establishes lawConstitution sets parameters within which government operates and establishes law –Supreme Court resolves issues or conflicts which arise under the Constitution

7 Legal Focus on Constitutional Law Daytona State College School of Emergency Services Articles of the Constitution Main bodyMain body –Forms a contract between the government and the people –Spells out responsibilities and authority of the three branches of government Executive Legislative Judicial

8 Legal Focus on Constitutional Law Daytona State College School of Emergency Services Supremacy Clause Incorporated in Article IVIncorporated in Article IV –When there is a conflict, the U.S. Constitution and Federal law overrules state and local law –State law can be more restrictive, but cannot undermine the Federal standard –The decisions of Federal courts, Federal Appeals courts and the Federal Supreme Court hold over the state courts

9 Legal Focus on Constitutional Law Daytona State College School of Emergency Services Amendments Constitutional adjustmentsConstitutional adjustments –Resolve changes that need to be made Women voting Voting age Bill of RightsBill of Rights –First ten amendments spell out specific rights –Part of the original 1789 Constitution –Some states would not ratify without them –Vital to law enforcement officers

10 Legal Focus on Constitutional Law Daytona State College School of Emergency Services Bill of Rights Designed to specify certain direct rightsDesigned to specify certain direct rights –Prevent obvious government intrusions to freedom –Relevant at the time, applicable to today –Law enforcement concerned with First Second Fourth Fifth Sixth Eighth Fourteenth

11 Legal Focus on Constitutional Law Daytona State College School of Emergency Services First Amendment Freedom ofFreedom of –Speech –Press –Peaceful Assembly –Religion Law Enforcement ActivitiesLaw Enforcement Activities –Disorderly conduct –Seizure of media materials

12 Legal Focus on Constitutional Law Daytona State College School of Emergency Services Second Amendment Right to bear armsRight to bear arms –Gun ownership –Government may prohibit certain individuals from owning or possessing guns –Recent court decisions and legislation has reduced government intrusion on gun ownership Washington D.C. law on “no handgun ownership” struck down by the Supreme Court

13 Legal Focus on Constitutional Law Daytona State College School of Emergency Services Fourth Amendment Unreasonable Search and SeizureUnreasonable Search and Seizure –Key word is “unreasonable” –Court decides reasonableness –Law enforcement must keep up with cases to determine what is currently reasonable and unreasonable

14 Legal Focus on Constitutional Law Daytona State College School of Emergency Services Fourth Amendment Requires a warrantRequires a warrant –Independent magistrate (judge) determines that there is enough probable cause Search Seize (arrest) –Neutral third person doctrine Non-involved third person decides on probable cause “Judge shopping”

15 Legal Focus on Constitutional Law Daytona State College School of Emergency Services Fourth Amendment Law enforcement activities affectedLaw enforcement activities affected –Entry into homes, vehicles, luggage, purses –Interference with the right to possess property –Stops and arrests –Use of force Reasonable expectation of privacyReasonable expectation of privacy –Overriding doctrine upon which Fourth Amendment violations are judged

16 Legal Focus on Constitutional Law Daytona State College School of Emergency Services Fifth Amendment Compelled self-incriminationCompelled self-incrimination –Cannot be forced to testify against yourself –Exceptions for Internal Affairs investigations (Garrity rule) Requires Grand Jury Indictment for capital crimesRequires Grand Jury Indictment for capital crimes –Even if an arrest has already been made

17 Legal Focus on Constitutional Law Daytona State College School of Emergency Services Fifth Amendment Double JeopardyDouble Jeopardy –Cannot be tried twice for the same crime Appeal is not a new trial Can be tried for different offenses resulting from the same set of circumstances in different systems –State criminal court –State civil court –Federal criminal court –Federal civil court Multiple prosecutions usually involve Federal civil rights violations

18 Legal Focus on Constitutional Law Daytona State College School of Emergency Services Fifth Amendment Due processDue process –Cannot be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law –Everyone gets a hearing or trial before an impartial judge –There is a process that is the same for everyone in resolving conflicts

19 Legal Focus on Constitutional Law Daytona State College School of Emergency Services Sixth Amendment Right to a speedy trialRight to a speedy trial –Misdemeanor: 90 days –Felony: 180 days –Speedy trial may be waived by the defendant Right to a public trialRight to a public trial –Nothing in secret –Media allowed to report it –No secret evidence – all public

20 Legal Focus on Constitutional Law Daytona State College School of Emergency Services Sixth Amendment Right to counselRight to counsel –May have counsel if desired –If indicted, must have counsel Right to an impartial juryRight to an impartial jury –May waive the right to a jury trial (bench trial) –Rules have been established for choosing a jury

21 Legal Focus on Constitutional Law Daytona State College School of Emergency Services Sixth Amendment Right to be informed of the chargesRight to be informed of the charges –First appearance Informed of charges Informed of rights Determine if the public defender is needed Right to confront witnessesRight to confront witnesses –Testify in open court –Able to be cross-examined –Rules established in special cases

22 Legal Focus on Constitutional Law Daytona State College School of Emergency Services Eighth Amendment Excessive bails and finesExcessive bails and fines –Bail set by judges in a bail schedule, added by the jail –Police no longer set bail Cruel and unusual punishmentCruel and unusual punishment –No law enforcement involvement in punishment

23 Legal Focus on Constitutional Law Daytona State College School of Emergency Services Fourteenth Amendment Bill of Rights originally applied only to the Federal governmentBill of Rights originally applied only to the Federal government –States felt that they could do what they wanted, even in conflict with the supremacy clause –Fourteenth applied the Bill of Rights to the states Passed after the Civil War –Known as the Due Process Clause from the 14 th Amendment Fifth also deals with Due Process

24 Legal Focus on Constitutional Law Daytona State College School of Emergency Services Keeping Current Rules constantly changeRules constantly change –Supreme Court decisions, Appeals decisions –Officers are responsible for keeping up Ignorance is not an excuse Good sourcesGood sources –Agency training bulletins and legal advisories –Law enforcement publications with citations –Official web sites

25 Legal Focus on Constitutional Law Daytona State College School of Emergency Services Keeping Current Good sourcesGood sources –FDLE –Florida Attorney General –Florida Supreme Court Bad sourcesBad sources –Television/media –Internet –Newpapers

26 Legal Focus on Constitutional Law Daytona State College School of Emergency Services Keeping Current Violating case law can result in:Violating case law can result in: –Exclusion of evidence –Case dismissal –Administrative discipline –Civil responsibility –Criminal prosecution –Loss of job/career

27 Legal Focus on Constitutional Law Daytona State College School of Emergency Services Questions


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