Intermediate Crime Scene Search TCOLE

TCOLE Course # 2106
32 to 40-hours
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About Your Instructor
Course Facilitator - Mentor
George D. Little
A.S. & B.S. Criminal Justice & Sociology
B.S.CJ Wayland Baptist University, San Antonio
M.S. Criminology & Counter-Terrorism University of the
State of New York
2012 T.C.L.E.O.S.E. Professional Achievement Award
Certified Crime Prevention Specialist (C.C.P.S.)
TCLEOSE Basic Instructor Certificate 1984
TCLEOSE Master Peace Officer 1991
MP Special Operations Operator Counter-Terrorism 1988
Graduate Drug Enforcement Administration Academy 1977
42- years Law Enforcement Experience
39-Years Teaching & Instructor Experience
The Intermediate Crime Scene
Search Course is designed to
provide additional information on
this subject area. This course is
one of the seven courses required
for Intermediate certification. It is
not meant to override department
policy and current laws.
Course Overview
1.0 Legal Aspects of a Crime Scene
2.0 Preparing for a Crime Scene
3.0 Investigating a Crime Scene
4.0 Sketching & Photographing
5.0 Fingerprinting
6.0 Identification, Collection, and
Preservation of Evidence
Course Overview
7.0 DNA Evidence
8.0 Specific Crime Scene Searches
9.0 Simulated Crime Scene
10.0 Computer and Other Electronic
Crime Scene Practical Exercises
and Final TEST you must score 70%
or higher to pass course.
UNIT 1.0
•Legal Aspects
of a Crime
Scene Search
Learning Objectives
Learning Objective 1.1 The student will be able to
summarize the legal aspects of a crime scene
Learning Objective 1.1.1 The student will be able
to explain certain objectives and legal obligations
that must be followed during a crime scene search.
Learning Objective 1.1.2 The student will be able to
identify related constitutional and criminal laws
related to a crime scene search.
Learning Objective 1.1.3 The student will be able
to define a search warrant.
Learning Objective 1.1.4 The student will be able
to describe certain requirements of a search warrant.
Learning Objective 1.1.5 The student will be able
to discuss search warrants according to Texas
Learning Objective1.1.6 The student will be able to
explain some advantages of using a search warrant
Learning Objective 1.1.7 The student will be able
to explain some exceptions of a warrantless search.
Learning Objective 1.1.8 The student will be able
to explain some justifications for denying
unauthorized persons access to a crime scene.
1.0 Legal Aspects of a
Crime Scene Search
A. Objectives of a crime scene search.
1. A crime scene search is a planned
and coordinated legal search of a
crime scene to locate physical
evidence or witnesses to the crime
under investigation.
2. The objectives in conducting a
search of a crime scene are to aid in
the following:
Objectives of a crime scene search (2.)
a. Can help establish that a crime has
been committed. (i.e., identify the type of
crime and establish the elements of the
b. Can be used to place the suspect at
the scene (i.e., shoe impressions may
match those of a known suspect in the
c. Can be used to eliminate persons,
such as through DNA testing.
Objectives of a crime scene search (2.)
d. Can cause suspects confronted with
physical evidence to confess the crime.
e.Witness’s testimony can be supported
with physical evidence.
f.Can help establish where the crime was
committed? How the crime was
committed (M.O
Why the crime was When the crime was
committed (motive)? committed?
B. Follow the Law.
1. Local, State, and Federal laws must
be abided to ensure admissibility of
evidence in a court of law.
2. This can be done by keeping up to
date with current laws and agency
policy, as well as communicating
with legal authorities.
3. Determine the need of a search
4. If the crime scene does not fall
under your agency’s jurisdiction,
identify the jurisdiction and
contact appropriate agency.
C. Secure the Remains
1. Ensure the body is secure by
supervising the labeling, packaging,
and removal of the remains.
2. Ensure the appropriate ID tag is
placed on the body to preclude
misidentification upon receipt at
the examining agency.
3. Ensure all potential evidence is
safe-guarded and property and
clothing remain on the body.
4. Prior to leaving the scene, ensure
the body is protected from further
trauma or contamination, and
unauthorized removal of
therapeutic and resuscitative
5. Ensure all property of the person
6. Ensure all DNA samples are
7. Ensure the body is properly placed
in the bag.
8. Maintain jurisdiction over the
body, and record any transactions.
9. Ensure appropriate officials sign
the death certificate and other
respective documents.
D. Notify next of kin
1. Next of kin of a deceased victim (s)
should be notified as soon as
2. Notification initiates closure for the
family, disposition of remains, and
facilitate the collection of additional
information relative to the case.
One of the worst jobs for a law
enforcement officer is telling a Lovedone their family member is dead.
3. Inform the family of the following:
a. If an autopsy is required.
b. Available support services
(e.g. victim assistance, police,
social services, etc.)
c. Appropriate agencies to contact
with questions or additional
d. Ensure the family is not left
alone with the body.
Inform the family of the following:
e. Provide a timetable of
how/when the victim’s
information will be released
(toxicology results, etc.)
f. Inform family of available
reports, including costs, if any.
U.S. Constitutional
Criminal Laws
A. Due process,
U.S. Constitution, &
Bill of Rights.
14th Amendment – three classes of
a.) privileges and immunities of
citizens of the U.S.,
b.) due process of law, and
c.) equal protection under the law.
A. Due process, U.S. Constitution,
and the Bill of Rights….cont’d:
2. 4th Amendment – unreasonable
searches and seizure clause;
warrant clause.
3. 5th Amendment – selfincrimination clause.
4. 6th Amendment – right to
confrontation clause; right to
counsel clause.
B. Legal issues for searches.
1. Probable cause.
2. Exclusionary rule.
3. Fruit of the Poison Tree
Doctrine (due process)
a. Silverthorne Lumber Co. v.
United States, 251 US 385 (1918)
Silverthorne Lumber Co.
v. United States
• Federal agents illegally seized tax books from
Silverthorne and created copies of the records. The
issue in this case is whether or not derivatives of
illegal evidence are permissible in court. The ruling
was that to permit derivatives would encourage
police to circumvent the 4th Amendment, so the
illegal copied evidence was held tainted and
inadmissible. This precedent later became known
as the “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine,"and
is an extension of the exclusionary rule.
4. Search incident to lawful arrest.
a. Chimel v. California, 395 U.S.
752 (1969)
b. Maryland v. Buie, 494 U.S. 325
c. United States v. Sokolow, 490
U.S. 1, 7 (1989) a. Nix v. William,
467 U.S. 431 (1984)
Chimel v. California
• In Chimel, the Court held that police
officers arresting a person in his or her
home could not search the entire home
without a search warrant, although they
may search the area within immediate
reach of the person. The rule relating to
searches incident to a lawful arrest
within the home is now known as the
Chimel rule.
Maryland v. Buie
• In 1990. In the case, the Court held that
the 4th Amendment permits a properly
limited protective sweep in conjunction
with an in-home arrest when the
searching officer possesses a reasonable
belief based on specific and articulable
facts that the area to be swept harbors an
individual posing a danger to those on the
arrest scene.
United States v. Sokolow
• Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents
stopped respondent upon his arrival at Honolulu
International Airport. The agents found 1,063
grams of cocaine in his carry-on luggage. When
respondent was stopped, the agents knew, inter
alia, that (1) he paid $2,100 for two round-trip
plane tickets from a roll of $20 bills; (2) he
traveled under a name that did not match the
name under which his telephone number was
listed; (3) his original destination was Miami, a
source city for illicit drugs; (4) he stayed in Miami
for only 48 hours, even though a round-trip
Cont’d: from Honolulu to Miami takes 20 hours;
(5) he appeared nervous during his trip; and (6) he
checked none of his luggage. Respondent was
indicted for possession with intent to distribute
cocaine. The Court of Appeals disagreed and
reversed respondent's conviction, applying a twopart test for determining reasonable suspicion.
First, ruled the court, at least one fact describing
"ongoing criminal activity" - such as the use of an
alias or evasive movement through an airport was always necessary to support a reasonablesuspicion finding. Second, "probabilistic" facts
describing "personal characteristics" of drug
couriers - such as the cash payment for tickets, a
short trip to a major source city for drugs,
Cont’d: nervousness, type of attire, and
unchecked luggage - were only relevant if there
was evidence of "ongoing criminal activity" and the
Government [490 U.S. 1, 2] offered "empirical
documentation" that the combination of facts at
issue did not describe the behavior of "significant
numbers of innocent persons." The Court of
Appeals held the agents' stop impermissible,
because there was no evidence of ongoing
criminal behavior in this case.
On the facts of this case, the DEA agents had a
reasonable suspicion that respondent was
transporting illegal drugs when they stopped him
5. Good faith exception.
a. United States v. Leon, 468 U.S.
897 (1984)
b. Massachusetts v. Sheppard,
468 U.S. 981 (1984)
c. Illinois v. Rodriguez, 497 U.S.
177 (1990)
United States v. Leon
• On August 1981, police in received a tip
identifying Patsy Stewart and Armando
Sanchez as drug dealers. Police began
surveillance of their homes and followed leads
based on the cars that frequented the
residences. The police identified Ricardo Del
Castillo and Alberto Leon as also being
involved in the operation. Based on this
surveillance and information from a second
informant, a detective wrote an affidavit and
a judge issued a search warrant. The police
Cont’d: conducted the search, but the search
warrant was later found to be invalid because
the police lacked the probable cause for a
warrant to be issued in the first place. The
evidence obtained in the search was upheld
anyway, because the police performed the
search in reliance on the warrant, meaning they
“acted in good faith”. This became known as
the good faith exception to the exclusionary
Massachusetts v. Sheppard
• A police detective drafted an affidavit to
support an application for an arrest warrant
and a search warrant authorizing the search
of respondent's residence. The affidavit
stated that the police wished to search for
certain described items, including clothing of
the victim and a blunt instrument that might
have been used on the victim. The affidavit
was reviewed and approved by the District
Attorney. Because it was Sunday, the local
court was closed, and the police had a
Cont’d: difficult time finding a warrant
application form. The detective finally found a
warrant form previously used in another district
to search for controlled substances. After
making some changes in the form, the
detective presented it and the affidavit to a
judge at his residence, informing him that the
warrant form might need to be further
changed. Concluding that the affidavit
established probable cause to search
respondent's residence and telling the
detective that the necessary changes in the
warrant form would be made, the judge
Cont’d: difficult time finding a warrant
application form. The detective finally found a
warrant form previously used in another district
to search for controlled substances. After
making some changes in the form, the
detective presented it and the affidavit to a
judge at his residence, informing him that the
warrant form might need to be further
changed. Concluding that the affidavit
established probable cause to search
respondent's residence and telling the
detective that the necessary changes in the
warrant form would be made, the judge
Cont’d: some changes, but did not change the
substantive portion, which continued to
authorize a search for controlled substances,
nor did he alter the form so as to incorporate
the affidavit. The judge then signed the
warrant and returned it and the affidavit to the
detective, informing him that the warrant was
sufficient authority in form and content to carry
out the requested search. The ensuing search
of respondent's residence by the detective and
other police officers was limited to the items
listed in the affidavit, and several incriminating
pieces of evidence were discovered.
Cont’d: Thereafter, respondent was charged
with first-degree murder. At a pretrial
suppression hearing, the trial judge ruled that
notwithstanding the warrant was defective
under the Fourth Amendment in that it did not
particularly describe the items to be seized,
the incriminating evidence could be
admitted because the police had acted in
good faith in executing what they reasonably
thought was a valid warrant. At the
subsequent trial, respondent was convicted.
Illinois v. Rodriguez
• Case dealing with the issue of whether a
warrantless search conducted pursuant to
third party consent violates the 4th
Amendment when the third party does not
actually possess common authority over the
premises. In a 6-3 decision authored by
Justice Scalia, the Court held that such
searches are valid if, at the time of the
search, the authorities "reasonably believe"
the third party possesses common authority
over the premises. In reaching its decision,
the Supreme Court noted that
"reasonableness," not consent, is the
touchstone of 4th Amendment jurisprudence;
the Constitution only prohibits "unreasonable"
searches and seizures. Therefore, the
constitutional validity of a police
determination of consent to enter is not
judged by whether the police were correct
in their assessment, but by whether, based
on the facts available at the moment, it was
reasonable to conclude that the consenting
party had authority over the premises.
6. Inevitable discovery doctrine.
a. Nix v. William, 467 U.S. 431
7. Computer errors exception.
a. Arizona v. Evans, 514 U.S. 1
Nix v. William
• US Supreme Court decision that created an
"inevitable discovery" exception to the
exclusionary rule. The exclusionary rule
makes most evidence gathered through
violations of the 4th Amendment to the
United States Constitution, which protects
against unreasonable search and seizure,
inadmissible in criminal trials as “fruits of the
poisonous tree”. In Nix, the Court ruled that
evidence that would inevitably have been
discovered by law enforcement through legal
means remained admissible.
Arizona v. Evans
• Was a United States Supreme Court case
in which the Court instituted an
exclusionary rule exception allowing
evidence obtained through a warrantless
search to be valid when a police record
erroneously indicates the existence of an
outstanding warrant due to negligent
conduct of a Clerk of Court.
1.1.3 Definitions
A. Definition of a search warrant
(or search-and-seizure warrant)–
a judge’s written order authorizing
a law enforcement officer to
conduct a search of a specified
place and to seize evidence
(SOURCE: Black’s Law Dictionary,
7th Ed., 1999, West Group, Inc.)
B. Specific types:
1.Anticipatory – based on an
affidavit showing probable cause
that evidence of a certain crime will
be located at a specific time and
place, at a future date
Apparent facts discovered through
logical inquiry that would lead a
reasonably intelligent and prudent
person to believe that an accused
person has committed a crime.
B. Specific types:
2.Blanket – authorizes officials to
search more than one area; serves as
an unconstitutional warrant
authorizing the seizure of everything
found at a given location, without
specifying which items may be
B. Specific types:
3.No-knock – authorizes officials to
enter premises without knocking and
announcing their presence and
purpose before entry (a prior
announcement would lead to a
destruction of items searched for or
would endanger the safety of the
police or another person).
1.1.4 Requirements of a
Search Warrant
A. In order for a warrant to be
legal, it must meet:
1.) constitutional guidelines,
2.) legal requirements,
3.) the authorization of a
magistrate, and
4.) contain certain information.
B. Once a warrant is authorized, it
must be executed promptly; other
items of contraband/evidence should
not be sought, unless they are
specified in the warrant. Items
seized, other than those specified in
the warrant, are not considered
“within the scope of the search” and
will probably be excluded from the
trial, as evidence obtained illegally.
C. The search process consists
basically of three stages:
1) the affidavit,
2) execution of the search
3) and the search warrant
1.1.5 Search Warrants
According to TEXAS Statutes
A. Definition of search warrant
CCP 18.01
B. Grounds for issuance
CCP 18.02
C. Issuance of search warrant to photograph injured child
CCP 18.021
D. Search warrant may order arrest
CCP 18.03
E. Contents of warrant
CCP 18.04
F. Execution of warrants
CCP 18.06
G. Days allowed for warrant to run
CCP 18.07
H. Power of officer executing warrant
CCP 18.08
I. Shall seize accused and property
CCP 18.09
J. How return made
CCP 18.10
K. Custody of property found
CCP 18.11
L. Disposition of abandoned or unclaimed property
CCP 18.17
M. Disposition of gambling paraphernalia, prohibited
weapons, criminal instrument, and other contraband
CCP 18.18
N. Disposition of explosive weapons and chemical dispending
CCP 18.181
O. Deposit of money pending disposition
CCP 18.183
P. Disposition of seized weapons
CCP 18.19
Q. Interception and use of wires, oral, or electronic
communications - Definitions
CCP 18.20
R. Testing for communicable diseases following certain
CCP 18.22
1.1.6 Advantages of using
Search Warrants
A. Has proved to be one of the most
valuable tools in criminal investigation.
B. Some of its many uses include:
1. To recover stolen property;
seize drugs or other contraband
2. To seize any other specific type
of property used in the commission of a
C. Evidence seized through the use
of a search warrant may be more
readily accepted by courts than if
seized without a warrant or incident
to arrest.
D. An officer may be protected from
civil liability.
E. May shift the legal burden to the
defendant to show that the evidence
was seized illegally.
1.1.7 Exceptions
of a warrantless
1. Consent.
• Florida v. Royer, 460 U.S. 491
• Bumper v. North Carolina, 391
U.S. 543 (1968)
• Schneckloth v. Bustamonte, 412
U.S. 218, 93 S. Ct. 2041, 36 L. Ed.
2d. 854 (1973)
• Florida v. Jimeno, 500 U.S. 248
Florida v. Royer
• A U.S. Supreme Court case dealing with
issues involving the 4th Amendment.
Specifically, the case establishes a firm
line in cases where police conduct search
and seizure without a warrant. The court
ruled that, while it is legal for authorities to
target and approach a person based on
their behavior, absent more, they cannot
detain or search such individual
without a warrant.
Bumper v. North Carolina
• “A search conducted in reliance upon a
warrant cannot later be justified on the
basis of consent if it turns out that the
warrant was invalid.”
Schneckloth v. Bustamonte
• U.S. Supreme Court case in which the
high court ruled that in a case involving a
consent search, while knowledge of a
right to refuse consent is a factor to be
taken into account, the state does not
need to prove that the one who is
giving permission to search knows that
he has a right to withhold his consent
under the 4th Amendment of the U.S.
Florida v. Jimeno
• Supreme Court overturned the lower courts'
decision and ruled that the officer's search
of containers within the car were not
considered unreasonable. Since a
reasonable person would expect narcotics to
be carried in a container, and because the
officer told Jimeno of his suspicions, the
court ruled the officer acted within reason.
Jimeno was thus found guilty and the officer
was not in violation of the 4th amendment
2. Emergency (exigent
circumstances) .
• Danger.
• Threat of the suspect escaping.
• Threat of the removal or
destruction of evidence (e.g.
flushing it down the toilet).
2. Emergency (exigent
circumstances) Relevant case law:
• Ker v. California, 374 U.S. 23, 42
• Cupp v. Murphy, 412 U.S. 291 (1973)
• Warden v. Hayden, 387 U.S. 294, 303
• Mincey v. Arizona, 437 U.S. 385
• Wilson v. Arkansas, 514 U.S. 927
Ker v. California
• Supreme Court analyzed the evidence
presented and agreed with the California
courts that the seizure was incident to a
lawful arrest. The Sheriff’s officers had
probable cause to make a warrantless arrest,
and the most prominent evidence (the brick of
marijuana) was in plain sight. Clark also
dismissed the other reasonableness
objections raised by the Ker’s.
Cupp v. Murphy
• Supreme Court held that in view of the
station-house detention upon probable
cause, the very limited intrusion of
scraping the defendant's fingernails for
blood and other material, undertaken to
preserve highly evanescent evidence,
did not violate the Fourth and
Fourteenth Amendments.
Mincey v. Arizona
U.S. Supreme Court, in no uncertain terms,
announced for the first time that, contrary to
what many of us in the criminal justice system
of that day thought, there absolutely, positively
never was, and probably never will be, a
"Homicide Scene Exception" to the 4th
Amendment. A warrantless and consent less
four-day search of the defendant's premises,
even though a police officer was killed therein,
was unconstitutional.
Wilson v. Arkansas
• Supreme Court decision in which the
Court held that police officers must
"knock and announce" before
entering a house
3. Incident to lawful arrest.
New York v. Belton, 453 U.S. 454
• Court held that when a police officer has
made a lawful custodial arrest of the
occupant of an automobile, the officer
may, as a contemporaneous incident of
that arrest, search the passenger
compartment of that automobile.
Therefore, Belton extended the so-called
"Chimel rule"
4. Stop-and-frisk.
• To investigate suspicious
• To make identification of a subject.
• Relevant case law:
Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968)
Minnesota v. Dickerson, 508 U.S. 366 (1993)
Terry v. Ohio
• The police can stop and briefly detain a person
for investigative purposes if they have a
reasonable suspicion supported by articulable
facts that criminal activity "may be afoot," even
if they lack probable cause under the Fourth
Amendment. Reasonable suspicion
entails some minimal level of
objective justification for making a stopthat is, something more than an inchoate and unparticularized suspicion or "hunch," but less than
the level of suspicion required for probable
Minnesota v. Dickerson
• Supreme Court unanimously held that, when
a police officer who is conducting a lawful
patdown search for weapons feels
something that plainly is contraband, the
object may be seized even though it is not
a weapon. By a 6-to-3 vote, however, the
court held that the officer in this case had
gone beyond the limits of a lawful pat
down search before he could determine
that the object was contraband, making the
search and the subsequent seizure unlawful
under the 4th Amendment.
5. Plain-view.
a. United States v. Henry (1958)
b. Harris v. United Stated, 243 F. 3d 806
c. Coolidge v. New Hampshire, 403 U.S. 433
d. Horton v. California, 496 U.S. 128 (1990)
e. Michigan v. Tyler, 436 U.S. 499 (1978)
f. Mincey v. Arizona, 437 U.S. 385 (1978)
g. Texas v. Brown, 460 U.S. 730 (1983)
h. United States v. Irizarry (1982)
United States v. Henry
• Was it a violation of Henry’s 6th Amdt. right to
counsel when the Govt. paid a fellow inmate
to listen to and report to the Govt. if Henry
made any incriminating statements while
imprisoned after he was indicted and Henry’s
Attorney was not present?
• HOLDING: Yes, by intentionally creating a
situation likely to induce Henry to make
incriminating statements without the
assistance of counsel, the Govt. violated
his 6th Amendment right to counsel
Harris v. United
• Sometimes referred to as the Ku KluxKlan
Case, was a case in which the U.S.
Supreme Court held that it was
unconstitutional for the federal
government to penalize crimes such as
assault and murder. It declared that the
local governments have the
power to penalize these crimes.
Coolidge v. New
• Supreme Court held that the searches and
seizures of Coolidge's property were
unconstitutional. The warrant authorizing
the seizure of Coolidge's automobile was
invalid because it was not issued by a
"neutral and detached magistrate.“
It was. found that neither the "incident to
arrest" doctrine nor the "plain view"
doctrine justified the search, and that an
"automobile exception" was inapplicable.
Horton v. California
• Case in which the Supreme Court developed
the. “Plain View Doctrine” under the 4th
Amendment. It expanded both Hicks and
Coolidge cases. In Horton. That expansion
included a three-part test, requiring that the
police officer finding evidence in plain view be:
1. lawfully present at the place where the
evidence can be plainly viewed,
2. the officer must have a lawful right of access
to the object, and
3. the incriminating character of the object must
be "immediately apparent."
Texas v. Brown
• Court determined that the defendant's
arrest in El Paso County, TX for a refusal
to identify himself, after being seen and
questioned in a high crime area, was
based on a reasonable
suspicion of wrongdoing and thus
violated the 4th Amendment. It is an
important case for Stop & Identify statutes
in the United States
6. Automobile.
a. Carroll v. United States, 267 U.S. 132, 153
b. New York v. Belton, 453 U.S. 454 (1981)
c. United States v. Ross, 456 U.S. 798
d. California v. Acevedo, 500 U.S. 565, 114
L. Ed. 2d 619, 111 S. Ct. 1982 (1991)
e. Pennsylvania v. Labron, 518 U.S. 938, 116
S. Ct. 2485 (1993)
f. Wyoming v. Houghton, 525 U.S. 295, 956 P.
2d 363 (1999)
Carroll v. United States
• A decision by the U.S. Supreme Court
which upheld that the
warrantless search of an
automobile, it is known as the
“Automobile exception” The case
has also been used to increase the scope
of warrantless searches.
New York v. Belton
• Court held that when a police officer has
made a lawful custodial arrest of the
occupant of an automobile, the officer may,
as a contemporaneous incident of that
arrest, search the passenger
compartment of that automobile.
Therefore, Belton extended the so-called
"Chimel rule" of searches incidental to a
lawful arrest established in Chimel v
California (1969), to vehicles.
United States v. Ross
• A search & seizure case argued before the
U.S. Supreme Court. The high court was
asked to decide if a legal warrantless search
of an automobile allows closed containers
found in the vehicle (specifically, in the
trunk) to be searched as well. The court
further stated that a warrantless search of a
car, like any other search, is limited to
those places where the target of the search
might reasonably be found
California v. Acevedo
• Supreme Court interpreted the Carroll
doctrine to provide one rule to govern all
automobile searches. The Court stated, "The
police may search an automobile and the
containers within it where they have
probable cause to believe contraband or
evidence is contained." The decision also
overruled the Chadwick-Sanders distinction
which previously held that if probable cause
existed to search an automobile the police
may perform a warrantless search of the
Calif v. Acevedo Cont’d: automobile and the
containers within it, but if the police only had
probable cause to search a container in the
automobile, the police first had to obtain a
warrant before searching the container. It
thereby confirmed Carroll V U.S (1925), which
held that a warrantless search of an
automobile based upon probable cause to
believe that the vehicle contained evidence of
crime in the light of an exigency arising out of
the vehicle's likely disappearance did not
contravene the 4th Amendments Warrant
Wyoming v. Houghton
• A U.S. Supreme Court case which held
that absent exigency, the warrantless
search of a passenger's container capable
of holding the object of a search for which
there is probable cause is a violation of the
4th Amendment, but justified under the
automobile exception (Clause) as an
effect of the car.
7. Open-field.
a. Oliver v. United States, 466
U.S. 170, 181 (1984)
b. United States v. Dunn, 480
U.S. 294, 304 (1987)
Oliver v. United States
• Individual may not legitimately demand
privacy for activities conducted out of
doors in fields, except in the area
immediately surrounding the home...The
[Fourth] Amendment reflects the recognition
of the Framers that certain enclaves should
be free from arbitrary government
interference. For example, the Court since the
enactment of the Fourth Amendment has
stressed ‘the overriding respect for the sanctity
of the home embedded in our traditions
United States v. Dunn
• The DEA arrested the respondent, seizing
chemicals and equipment, as well as bags of
amphetamines they discovered in the house.
After the District Court denied the
defendant’s motion to suppress all evidence
seized pursuant to the warrant and the
defendant was convicted of conspiracy to
manufacture controlled substances and
related offenses. However, the Court of
Appeals reversed that decision, holding that
the barn was within the residence's
Cont’d: and therefore within the Fourth
Amendment's protective ambit. The
Supreme Court overturned the appeals
court’s decision, finding that the barn was
outside the curtilage and so all evidence
obtained by the officers while standing
outside the barn and looking in was
admissible. Looking at whether the barn was
inside the curtilage or rather in an open field,
the court stated
1.1.8 Denying Persons
Access to Crime Scene
A.If necessary, obtain search warrant.
B.Only Authorized persons may enter
the Crime Scene area.
C.If possible have owner give verbal
authority for law enforcement to
keep unauthorized persons out of
crime scene area (off his/her
D. Possible justifications for denying
unauthorized persons access to crime
scene area are:
1) Criminal Trespass – PC 30.05
2) Tampering with or fabricating
physical evidence – PC 37.09
3) Sealing premises of deceased –
CCP 49.22
• DOJ Research Report, Death
Investigation: A Guide for the Scene
Investigator, November 1999.
• DOJ Research Report, Eyewitness
Evidence: A Guide for Law Enforcement,
October 1999.
• United States Constitution
• Texas Penal Code
• Texas Code of Criminal Procedures
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