When A Consensual Encounter Becomes A Violation Of Privacy Rights 江西撞人案被枪决 马里维和基地遇袭

Legal A police officer can engage in a "knock and talk," which is a purely consensual encounter, at any time. There is no need for any level of suspicion or probable cause. On the other hand, warrantless searches are considered unreasonable and violate the Fourth Amendment. Evidence found from a warrantless search should be suppressed. A recent Hillsborough County case illustrates how Tampa deputies crossed the line and conducted an illegal search under the guise of innocent inquiry. In Hardin v. State, deputies patrolled a Motel 6 parking lot and noticed a parked car with a Brownsville, Texas, license plate. Brownsville was considered by the law enforcement officials to be center of illegal drug activity so they asked the clerk at the motel what the room information was for the party associated with the vehicle. Because the name of the registration did not match the motel’s guest records, the deputies became even more suspicious and instigated a "knock and talk" with the registered motel guests, Gerardo Hardin and his wife, Ms. Sierra. Hardin spoke to several deputies outside the motel room, then consented to a female deputy, Glasscock, entering the room to speak to Sierra, who was naked in bed under the sheets. Sierra did not speak any English so Glasscock decided that Sierra required a translated so a male officer, Baez, arrived at the motel about 20 minutes later. Baez entered the motel room to translate for Glasscock. The deputies warned Hardin and Sierra that they were searching for illegal drugs. Hardin gave them his permission to search the car and a K-9 unit was called. The law enforcement officials failed to locate drugs. Glasscock and Baez meanwhile obtained Sierra’s consent to search the motel room and the deputies found nothing. During this entire period of time, Sierra remained in bed, naked under the bed sheets. The deputies continued to badger Sierra, told her they knew she had drugs, and promised they would not charge her if she was cooperative. Sierra claimed that she didn’t want any trouble. The law enforcement officials continued harassing Sierra until she gave in and turned over from under the bed sheets her purse, which contained cocaine. The male deputies exited the room while Sierra dressed and Hardin yelled from the parking lot that the drugs were his. Hardin was arrested and pled guilty to trafficking in cocaine. Hardin filed a motion to suppress arguing that Sierra. The trial court denied Hardin’s motion and Hardin was convicted and sentenced for cocaine trafficking. Hardin appealed. The court shall consider the totality of the circumstances to determine if consent is voluntary and the following factors: (1) time and place of the encounter; (2) number of deputies present; (3) the words and actions of the law enforcement officials. The court must weigh the factors from a reasonable person’s perspective – as someone who is untrained in the law—to decide whether he or she was free to end the consensual encounter. The Second District Court of Appeals noted the motel room was not big or spacious. Further, three deputies, including two men, were in the room while Sierra was naked and her husband was outside. Both Hardin and Sierra knew they were being investigated for illegal drugs. The deputies’ repeatedly telling Sierra they knew she had drugs and would not be charged if she cooperated indicated coercion, not voluntary consent, compelled Sierra to turn over the contraband. Therefore, Florida’s 2nd District Court of Appeal reversed the lower court’s decision and agreed that Sierra failed to voluntarily turn over the drugs to the law enforcement officials and the trial court erred in denying Hardin’s motion to suppress. About the Author: 相关的主题文章: