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Ensuring Fourth Amendment Compliance in Arrests
Competencies Addressed in This Discussion
- Competency 2: Correlate the role of each branch of government with Bill of Rights interpretation
- Competency 3: Explain the substantive and procedural interpretations of individual freedoms based on case analysis.
- Competency 5: Communicate effectively in writing
The Fourth Amendment provides baseline protections that impact procedures for arrests. Understanding how the amendment has been interpreted by courts is integral to ensuring procedural compliance. If there are procedural errors, the case can be significantly impacted. Let’s explore. Some police officers are fond of saying that if they watched any car drive for five minutes, they could find an infraction that would justify pulling the vehicle over. Many DUI detentions occur after 11 p.m. on citations that would not be considered worthy of action in the daytime. At night, an officer will stop a vehicle on the premise of a traffic infraction when the real purpose is to check for alcohol consumption and make a DUI arrest. Your police department is going to initiate this practice starting tonight on your shift, due to several DUIs with fatalities over the last week.
- Describe how you would look to the legislative branch and how you would look to the judicial branch for guidance to determine if there are any problems with the arrests you have been making.
- Using Lexis to research for your state, locate two cases that provide insight into the legality of the arrests based on Fourth Amendment interpretation.
- Summarize the holdings from the cases and how you think the holdings apply to the scenario.
- Explain the adjustments you would make, if any, based on your research. If you would not make any adjustments, explain your rationale.