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Criminal Procedure for the Criminal Justice Professional 11 th Edition John N. Ferdico Henry F. Fradella Christopher Trotten Prepared by Tony Wolusky Search.

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Presentation on theme: "Criminal Procedure for the Criminal Justice Professional 11 th Edition John N. Ferdico Henry F. Fradella Christopher Trotten Prepared by Tony Wolusky Search."— Presentation transcript:

1 Criminal Procedure for the Criminal Justice Professional 11 th Edition John N. Ferdico Henry F. Fradella Christopher Trotten Prepared by Tony Wolusky Search and Seizure of Vehicles and Containers Chapter 11

2 The Carroll Doctrine The automobile exception to the warrant requirement that allows a warrantless search of a readily mobile car based on probable cause that it contains contraband.

3 Rationale for the Automobile Exception Vehicles are inherently mobile. Occupants of vehicles have a diminished expectation of privacy. Vehicles travel on public roadways. Vehicles are not permanent residences. Vehicles must be registered. Drivers must be licensed. Vehicles must be inspected. Vehicles and how they are driven are heavily regulated.

4 Requirements of the Automobile Exception For the automobile exception to the warrant requirement to apply, two criteria must be met. 1. An officer must have probable cause to believe the motor vehicle contains illegal contraband. 2. The vehicle must be readily mobile such that it is capable of being moved outside the jurisdiction. No additional “exigent circumstances” are required.

5 Requiring a Warrant for Searching Vehicles A search warrant is needed if: 1.The vehicle is clearly not being used for movement (i.e., it is elevated “on blocks”); or 2.The vehicle is located on private property and there is time to obtain a warrant. Warrants must be based on probable cause.

6 Delay in Search A delay in the warrantless search and a change in the vehicle’s location may be permissible under the Carroll doctrine. Surrounding circumstances make an immediate search on the highway unsafe or impractical. Search of the car at a new location must be done without unreasonable delay.

7 Scope of a Vehicle Search under the Automobile Exception Carroll searches allow for the search of anything, including containers and passengers’ belongings, within the vehicle that the officer has probable cause to search for a particular object. If an officer has probable cause to search only a particular container placed in a vehicle, the officer may search that container but not the entire vehicle.

8 Searches of Movable Containers Located in Public Places The Carroll doctrine does not permit the warrantless search of any movable container found in a public place. Closed containers and packages located outside of a vehicle may not be searched without a warrant or justification under some other exception to the warrant requirement.

9 Impoundment and Inventory Searches The police may impound motor vehicles. Police routinely inventory impounded vehicle’s contents.

10 Impoundment Police may impound motor vehicles under specific circumstances.  When they impede traffic or threaten public safety and convenience  When their drivers or owners are taken into custody or are incapacitated  After seizing them as evidence of a crime  After the vehicle has been forfeited pursuant to state law  After a vehicle has been reported stolen

11 Inventory Searches Police may inventory the contents of lawfully impounded vehicles: 1. To protect the owner’s property 2. To protect the police against claims regarding lost, stolen, or vandalized property 3. To protect the police from potential danger A valid inventory search requires neither probable cause or a warrant.

12 The "Standard Procedures" Requirement for Inventory Searches Inventory searches must be done according to standardized procedures. These procedures must be reasonable and administered in good faith (e.g., not for the purpose of criminal investigation).

13 Permissible Scope of Inventory Searches Inventory searches are based on standard departmental procedures. Based on these procedures, courts have upheld inventory searches of the: 1. Passenger compartment 2. Glove compartment 3. Trunk 4. Engine compartment of vehicles 5. Closed containers found within the vehicle

14 Time Limitations for Inventory Searches Absent emergency circumstances, an inventory search of a vehicle must be conducted at the time of impoundment or shortly thereafter.

15 Inventory Searches and the Plain View Doctrine Inventory searches are not done to search for contraband. However, if any contraband or incriminating evidence is found during a lawful inventory, it may be lawfully seized under the plain view doctrine.

16 Standing for Objecting to Vehicle Searches

17 Fourth Amendment Challenges to Carroll Doctrine Searches In order to challenge an illegal search by police under the automobile exception, a vehicle occupant must have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the areas of the vehicle that are searched. Passengers in a vehicle generally have no reasonable expectation of privacy in the vehicle’s interior area. Passengers may challenge a stop.

18 Other Issues Related to Vehicle Searches

19 Tracking Vehicles using Electronic Devices The warrantless monitoring of a beeper or GPS device in a motor vehicle to trace the movement of the vehicle over public thoroughfares does not violate the reasonable expectation of privacy of the occupant of the vehicle. A warrant or emergency circumstances are required to monitor the beeper or GPS in a motor vehicle after it enters a private home or business.

20 Vehicle Searches by Dogs The use of specially trained dogs to detect the smell of drugs in a vehicle is not a “search” under the Fourth Amendment. If the dog alerts to the presence of contraband in the vehicle, this may provide the officer with the probable cause necessary to search a readily mobile vehicle under the automobile exception.


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