No Right To Detain Suspects Away From Premises While Executing Warrant
- May 16, 2013
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In the execution of a warrant, police knowingly allowed suspects to leave the apartment and travel approximately one mile prior to stopping the vehicle and returning the occupants to the apartment where the police search team was already at work and found a gun and drugs. The police then arrested the men and discovered that a key located during a patdown search at the motor vehicle stop unlocked the apartment door. Defendant moved to suppress statements to the police made during the motor vehicle stop and the apartment key itself. The district court denied the motion indicating the motor vehicle stop and return to the apartment was justified as a detention incident to the execution of a search warrant under Michigan v. Summers. The United States Supreme Court reviewed the matter of Bailey v. United States and read Summers as allowing detention of the occupants of the premises during a valid search without particularized suspicion as to the involvement of the occupant in potential criminal activity. The court found three interests of law enforcement justifying the detention including 1) officer safety, 2) preventing interference with the search or destruction of evidence and 3) preventing those who may be guilty from fleeing. Upon considering the distance of the defendants from the apartment the US Supreme Court held that the arrest approximately a mile away “involved an additional level of intrusiveness” detention beyond the immediate vicinity of the premises is invalid. Motions to suppress evidence are difficult but possible if the appropriate facts exist and may result in the dismissal of the prosecution’s case against you. If you are charged with a crime in New Jersey, you should immediately hire an experienced criminal attorney who will review the facts of the case and determine how to best help you to defeat the charges against you. For more information on illegal searches, motions to suppress or other criminal matters including drug (CDS), gun, assault, domestic violence, burglary, theft, shoplifting and DUI/DWI in NJ visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com. This blog is for informational purposes only and in no way intended to replace the advice of an attorney regarding your specific matter.