Online Custom «Suppress Controlled Substance» Essay Sample
There are numerous cases of criminals making motions to suppress evidence if there is a risk that the evidence was retrieved in a manner that violated their freedom as stipulated in the Fourth Amendment. Such freedom might be violated through unreasonable seizures and searches (Edwards, 1952). If the court grants the motion to suppress evidence, it will be the end of the case because for a case to proceed, there should be evidence. In this instance, the case against the criminal will be terminated. However, this rule has many exceptions, hence it cannot be guaranteed that the judge will suppress if the evidence is claimed to have been gathered illegally. In many cases where the defendant files for a motion to suppress, the judge takes into account all the factors that prompted the officers to carry out searches and seizure without a warrant. Law enforcers are trained to determine when a warrant can be used to undertake a search and when the constitution allows to do non-warrant searches. For instance, the exceptional cases of illegal seizures include actions done in good faith, when security is a priority, when the suspect tries to escape from the scene of crime, and when under the influence of the controlled substance among other circumstances (May, Duke, & Gueco, 2013).
In the first case, the police was acting in good faith and had all the reasons to search the passenger. First, it is clear that the car was parked in an area that is known to be associated with a large number of criminal acts, which indicates that that there is a high probability of having crimes taking place inside this car. Therefore, trying to check what was happening was an attempt to stop a criminal act. Secondly, when the police officer went towards the car, the woman who was leaning in the passenger window walked away. This was obviously a way of preventing the police from finding out what she was doing and diverting the officer’s attention. Thirdly, the officer asked the passenger to show his hands, but he resisted and continued to do shoving down motions, which served as a clear indication that he was hiding something or maybe removing a gun; he only complied when the officer insisted.
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Taking into consideration the circumstances of the case, the motion should not be granted because the evidence was obtained from the passenger’s pocket. When the officer realized that the passenger had hidden the bag that the woman handed him, he went ahead to search for it and even found more rocks of crack cocaine in the passenger’s clothing. Moreover, the furtive gestures of the passenger showed that the substance he was trying to hide is controlled and he was making an effort to put it far from the reach of the officer. The officer, who searched the passenger, witnessed the woman outside handing the bag to the passenger. This amount of drug transaction and the constitution allows a forceful search for evidence, as the vehicle in which this transaction was not situated in a private property, where the owner could claim trespass (May, Duke, & Gueco, 2013). Furthermore, the motion should be denied because the accused was present in the scene of crime when the search was being carried out and therefore cannot claim that the search was done out of his consent. The narcotics were also found in his possession, hence he cannot deny that he was aware of the existence of the drugs. Thus, all the actions taken by the officer to prove the occurrence of drug transaction are admissible and the court has all the reasons to refuse the defendant in the motion to suppress the evidence that was seized illegally.
In the second case, the police officer noticed a car parked near a bar that was known for criminal activities. For safety and regular patrol purposes, to ensure that no crime is about to be committed, he stopped by to check what the people in the car were up to. As he was looking for identification, he saw a bullet placed on the console of the car. This was an indication that the occupants were likely to be in possession of a gun and can carry out any form of crime. If the defendant asks for a motion to suppress evidence, the motion should be denied. First, the officer has every right to undertake a search in this car, as the Fourth Amendment states that granting the motion is only possible if there is enough support that shows that the search was unreasonable (LaFave, 2004). In this particular case, the police officer was prompted to search the entire vehicle by the bullet he first saw on the console. It is, therefore, evident that the search was legal because the officer had a probable cause. He only has to prove to the court that the circumstance permitted the investigation. Secondly, the passenger who appeared to be fumbling with something was a security threat to everyone in that area. His gestures showed that he was hiding or trying to remove some object, which could be a gun or even a bomb. Therefore, the motion to suppress the evidence should be denied because the officer searched the car for safety reasons.
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The officer ensured that the car occupants did not carry any weapons by asking them to step out of the car and thoroughly frisking them. While searching the area, he had seen the passenger fumbling and found a 12-pack of beer but no weapon. However, he also found a small bag that contained controlled substance. Having witnessed furtive gestures of the passenger and retrieving controlled substance in the proximity of the passenger, the officer had enough reason to say that he had witnessed a drug transaction.
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