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Posted: 7/18/2001 8:58:01 AM EDT
This is not an LEO bash. Why is it an LEO can break the law and do an illegal search & seizure with no punishment? How would this sound and for all the good LEO's out there this would only apply if the s&s rule was broken. If an officer is found to have commited an illegal S&S (evidence thrown out of court and either not challenged or upheld) the judge finds him in contempt of Court and fines him personally $1000.00 and fines the department $10,000.00 with the funds going to a fund for indigent legal counsel? Just an idea what does everyone think? Curious about LEO opinion.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 9:06:40 AM EDT
Andreusan?
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 9:22:37 AM EDT
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." All good things, improperly maintained, will atrophy. "Probable cause" and "unreasonable" are left open to interpretation. What a shame. So is the moral character of those who "support by Oath or affirmation".
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 9:26:01 AM EDT
I think if this happened that the fines should be reversed. 10,000 to officer 1,000 to department. It's not necessarily the departments fault that an officer screws up. Personally if the officer violates the law like that he should face jail time. Cops should NEVER be given preferential treatment by the law. Actually they should be punished more harshly because they new better, and SWORE to protect the very thing they are helping destroy. Luckily many cops do believe in peoples rights and don't violate S&S laws. But it does happen, and real criminals go free, and that is the real tragedy. How about this. Murder case, Cop screws up, murderer goes free cop takes murderers place. Just Kidding.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 9:40:11 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ADTECHARMS: Why is it an LEO can break the law and do an illegal search & seizure with no punishment?
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Can you cite the specific case you're referencing here? A little more information on the circumstances surrounding this particular search & seizure might make it easier to answer your question. Thanks. FMCDH Semper Fidelis Jarhead out. ------------------ "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and start slitting throats." --H.L. Mencken
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 10:31:47 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/18/2001 10:32:13 AM EDT by Steelviper]
I, too am curious about the details. Is this a conjectural situation, or did this 10,000/1,000 thing go down? Police are citizens like you and me, and should be/are held accountable for their crimes just the same. What would a criminal charge for illegal search and seizure be? Breaking and entering? Robbery? Contempt of court? Kind of a strange situation... I want police to be able to do their jobs, but they have to follow the rules just like any of us. As for Andreusan: This doesn't fit his profile, methinks, because the subject line didn't run into the body. Also it wasn't nearly paranoid enough.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 11:09:31 AM EDT
First I am not andreusa or whatever. Second, there is no specific case involved here just something I thought of while on jury duty I heard a prosocuter tell a cop not to feel bad that evedence was thrown out and that if it is questionable he should do the search so that they can get a ruling and be able to do it in the future. As for the monetary amounts I just sorta made them up as an example. The reason for the high monatary amount on the department they are in charge of training and making sure the officers do what is supposed to be done and a thousand dollars won't make as large an impact as ten grand. As for the ones saying it depends on the situation whether a fine is imposed why? either the rule is broken or it is not decided by a judge after arguments so there is due process. The events surrounding the S&S if illegal shouldn't matter.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 11:26:43 AM EDT
Ok, I'll assume you are in some type of business with that screen name. Next let's look at this, the police officer is not a lawyer, he is a jack of all trades with some training in many fields, shooting, driving, law, self defense, and OWI procedure to name a few. What your question assumes is that the Judge is always correct. As if no Judge has ever been reversed on appeal. Search and seizure is a very wide field. There is a difference between doing the job intentionally wrong, making a technical error, trying to "walk the line", and just being poor at your job. Also many times when search and seizure is reversed it is a case where the officer followed dept. policy but the policy was wrong for that circumstance, would you punish the officer then? What about cases where officers execute search warrants and later the warrants(signed by a Judge drawn up by a DA) are found to be defective?? Doing it intentionally wrong should result in punishment. "walking the line" or technical error should be explained to the officer, becuase often it wasn't done wrong, but something more needed to be said in a report or during testimony. Just being bad at the job should result in more training and if it progresses discipline. What if the problem was the DA just did a poor job supporting a legal search in the hearing? Back to you what if they passed a law that if an internet order was filled improperly you had to pay 50 times what the value of the order was to the customer........what your suggesting is similar.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 11:32:18 AM EDT
There's a difference between evidence being disallowed by a judge because the police had verbal permission but not a signed waiver from the suspect before they opened his trunk to find a dead body and some rogue cop creeping a suspect's house without a warrant and finding a dead body. After the judge disallows the evidence, if the suspect feels that his rights were violated, or if the judge finds that that was the case, civil penalties exceeding your suggestions are not out of line. It doesn't happen in every case because evidence is often disallowed for reasons that do not add up to illegal search and seizure. FMCDH Semper Fidelis Jarhead out.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 2:43:07 PM EDT
First, Yes I have a R&D company. Do not actually sell any products just patent rights. Second, If it is the DA's fault fine the DA. If there was a warrent the LEO is off the hook if it was followed. I also stated that the fine would only be given by a judge as a Contempt of court. The fine would not have to be paid until the case was finalized. (I.E. appealled and upheld.) If it was department policy IN WRITING indvidual LEO off the hook Department fine stands. As far as walking the line if an officer decides to walk the line and crosses it he should have thought of that before walking the line. An example would be if you are walking the line on say an NFA item BATF says no dice do you think they would ever say well you where walking the line so you can go? I intend this for gross violations and just to be out there for a cop to think about what he is doingbefore he uses his authority unwisly. A cas that springs to mind would be an artical (wish I could post a link but I can't find it) Cop has a warrent to search for a stolen car on this guys property. He goes in and starts going thru drawers (obviosly no car will fit in a drawer) finds a handgun (not saying the guy was right) The guy was a felon was arrested for the handgun. (later cleared of GTA they caught the real guy) Gun suppressed. Charges Dropped. I think the LEO should have been fined. As far as the example of paying 50 times origanal invoice no it is not a corilary because an LEO is useing his power to violate 4th amendment and the privacy of the individual not just writing out a traffic ticket wrong.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 3:29:58 PM EDT
Well you are changing what you said. At first you say S+S $1,000/10,000 fine. Then you say GROSS violations, which is what I believe I said. Then you add about the DA appealing the suppresion.... it almost never happens esp. in minor cases. The reason I bring up "walking the line", would you if you were a crime victim want the investigating officer to think that if they do something wrong in approaching a person to see if they might be involved to say "is it worth $1,000 to me to get ADTECHARMS stuff back??" Because it would be like "chin music" in baseball, once you get brushed back you tend to go farther back in the box than usual. Search and Siezure law are complex and change frequently. Lawyers and Judges sometimes take hours to decide what an officer did in seconds. Then if it is appealed multiple Judges may take weeks to decide the issue. What about an officer serving a search/arrest warrant for a suspect at his home for drugs. The suspect takes a while to come out. In the meantime the LEO watching the suspect house from the driveway looks at the VIN of the car in the driveway, it's a stolen car, is that an illegal search? My point about fining you for a error filling an order IS the exact same thing as fining an officer $1,000 for an HONEST mistake. Because that's what most S+S errors boil down to a MISTAKE not a reckless or willful act. Police work involves law, the Constitution, and people. No 2 situations are exaclty the same. That's why it is difficult to make all this black and white. Here's another: Police can search incident to arrest. So if a person is arrested in their car for a warrant the police can search the car. An officer arrest a subject for a rape warrant. The subject is in his neghbohood and a crowd starts to gather yelling that they want the subjsect back. The officer decides to have the car towed as part of the arrest. He waits until the car is towed and takes the arrestee to jail. He completes a basic report and 4 hours later goes to where the car is and searches it. Is that a legal search?
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 3:40:24 PM EDT
Perhaps off topic, perhaps not. 2 weeks ago on a Saturday night, just South of my home town, I met 2 Sheriff dept. cars, and drove by 2 dept. cars parked on the oncoming shoulder,(one was K-9). Less than 1/2 mile beyond, a sign "Drug dog working" was set up on their lane shoulder. Question is: Do they take the time to set up signs on specific searches, or were these random searches.There was no car being searched. Note: I've noticed a 4 county drug task force searching MANY cars in this area in the past 6 months. It appears they search every car stopped. Also, what prompts the stop/search? I realize that I've not provided enough info for any logical conclusion, but.....any comments? I wasn't about to stop and ask what they were doing
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 4:08:47 PM EDT
I agree some are mistakes. Let the judge decide when he makes a ruling. As I have been told many times Ignorance of the law is no excuse. In this day of cell phones he can make a call to a prosecutor and get a yah nay answer. But what I wanted to address is when an LEO does a search and it it obvious that it is wrong and nothing is done. If an error is made in should be in favor of our rights not the LEO's. Nine out of ten times they can secure the scene and wait for a warrent. I have heard officers tell me (I have many who are friends and some agree with me some don't) that they will do a search if they know they can't get a warrent in hopes that it will not be suppressed. I am not sayinbg all LEO's do this but some. Would you not agree if an error or mistake is made it should be in favor of a citizen who after all is innocent until proven guilty or should it be in favor of what the officer wants???
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