Probable Cause

News & Analysis as of

Marijuana Defense Attorney | Does the Odor of Marijuana Justify Probable Cause for a Search?

Can a cop search my home or vehicle without consent just because he smells marijuana? This question is one I field on a regular basis as new clients seek out an experienced marijuana defense attorney. “After all,” the...more

Supreme Court Update: Mathis V. United States (15-6092), Utah V. Strieff (14-1373), Birchfield V. North Dakota (14-1468) And...

The Court finished up OT15 this morning with decisions in Voisine v. United States (14-10154), holding that a reckless domestic assault qualifies as a "misdemeanor crime of domestic violence" under the federal...more

The Seventh Circuit Empowers Litigants to Revisit Class Definitions

Class actions, and Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, have long been rife with controversy. It’s safe to assume that the Seventh Circuit’s decision last week in Fonder v. Sheriff of Kankakee Cnty., No. 15-2905...more

Legislative Update on Maine’s Substance Abuse Testing Law

In legislative news, a bill that would have implemented new changes to Maine’s substance abuse testing law has died after the House and Senate failed to agree on amendments to the bill from the Committee on Labor, Commerce,...more

An Important Check On The Abuse Of Government Authority

As citizens of a nation founded on the rule of law, we depend upon law enforcement and prosecutors to protect us from harm and from those who infringe our liberty. In exchange for this protection, we permit these public...more

Malicious Prosecution Case to Continue Against Patrick Henry Community College Athletic Director

An affair between a college coach and a basketball player, a disputed confrontation between parents and a college administrator, accusations of assault and kidnapping, fifteen days in jail, claims of false arrest and...more

Court Affirmed Government Seizure Of Trust Asset

In 3607 Tampico Dr. v. State, the government brought a forfeiture proceeding under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 59.02(a) for a house owned by a trust. No. 11-13-00306-CV, 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 13056 (Tex....more

Appellate Court Notes

Appellate Court Advance Release Opinions: Released after 11:30 a.m. AC36320 - Valencis v. Nyberg - This decision upheld the granting of a PJR for ~ $1.5 million in favor of the plaintiff property owner when the...more

Expanding Scope of Federal Wiretapping Powers

USA Today’s front-page headline, above the fold, on November 12, 2015 read, “Massive Wire-tapping Operation in L.A.” The secondary headline read, “Drug Agents Intercept More Than 2 Million Conversations in USA.” ...more

Parents Arrested for Unsupervised Children: The Rest of the Story

I am always outraged by the stories of parents arrested for allowing their children to play in ways that earlier generations considered routine. But a recent court decision reminded me that the story is not always as clear as...more

Corporate Investigations & White Collar Defense - September 2015

No Dog Days of August for the SEC—A Recap of a Busy Month - Why it matters: Who says there is a government slowdown in August? Not for the SEC. August 2015 turned out to be very busy indeed for the agency, which...more

Second Circuit Limits Government's Ability To Seize Assets Without A Warrant

In the recent decision United States v. Cosme, 14-1625-cr, a panel of the Second Circuit held that the government cannot seize and then hold a defendant's property pending the resolution of criminal charges without a judicial...more

Telemedicine Prescribers Should Read This Case: U.S. vs. Zadeh

Health care providers who use telemedicine for remote prescribing of controlled substances should pay close attention to an important case currently pending at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The case will decide whether...more

Statute Criminalizing Election Campaign Lies Found to Violate First Amendment and Article 16

On August 6, 2015, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) in Commonwealth v. Lucas struck down Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 56, § 42 (Section 42), which criminalized the utterance or publication of “any false...more

DANGER – “General” Search Warrants in the Digital Age

If you knew that there was a chance—maybe even a good chance—that a law enforcement officer could gain access to every single text, email, photograph and voice mail on your smartphone, going back years, because you were...more

BB&K Police Bulletin: Investigatory Stop Still Valid Even If Officer Made Mistake of Law

An Officer’s Objectively Reasonable Mistake of Law Can Support Finding of Probable Cause - Overview: The U.S. Supreme Court held that an officer’s mistaken belief that a driver had violated a state vehicle code...more

Southern District Opinion Allows Seizure of Emails From Host Provider With Minimal Showing of Probable Cause

A Southern District of New York Magistrate Judge last week approved the government’s ability to conduct searches and seizures of entire email accounts stored by third-party providers like Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! and Apple...more

BB&K Police Bulletin: Police Can Stop Reckless Driver Based On Anonymous Tip

Officers Had Reasonable Suspicion of Criminal Activity Based Upon the Totality of the Circumstances - Overview: The Supreme Court recently held that peace officers who conducted a traffic stop and searched a vehicle...more

BB&K Police Bulletin: Medicinal Marijuana and Probable Cause

Possession of Any Amount of Medicinal Marijuana Enough to Search Automobile - Overview: A California Court of Appeal has ruled that a law enforcement officer’s observation of any amount of marijuana in a vehicle...more

High Court Deals Major Blow To Criminal Defendants

The U.S. Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision in Kaley v. United States, 571 U.S. __, Case No. 12-464 (Feb. 25, 2014) essentially finds that the grand jury should have the last word. The Kaley case involved the right to counsel when...more

Supreme Court Holds That Criminal Defendants Challenging Pre-Trial Asset Seizure Cannot Contest a Grand Jury’s Determination of...

On February 25, 2014, in Kaley v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court held 6-3 that criminal defendants challenging the legality of a §853(e)(1) pre-trial asset seizure may not contest a grand jury's determination of...more

Second Circuit Holds That New York City Commission On Human Rights’ Procedures Satisfy Constitutional Due Process

Rosu v. City of New York, No. 13-cv-243 (2d Cir. Feb. 7, 2014): Underlying this case, Mircea Rosu filed a complaint with the New York City Commission on Human Rights alleging that his manager and coworkers discriminated...more

Maine Legislature to Consider Employer Drug Policies

Over the next few months, the Maine Legislature will be considering substance abuse policy regulation. Senator Andre Cushing has introduced a bill, LD 1669, An Act To Standardize and Simplify the Process for Employers To...more

Federal Judge Rejects NYPD’s ‘Stop and Frisk’ Policies

In a decision issued today that could potentially change the way police operate in the Big Apple, U.S. District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin (S.D.N.Y.) ruled that, for years, New York City police officers have been...more

Question Of Fact Exists Whether Officer Had Probable Cause To Arrest A Man Sleeping In A Car For DUI; Judges Grapple Over Standard...

In Romo v. Largen, on interlocutory appeal, the Sixth Circuit affirmed the Western District of Michigan's decision that reasonable minds could differ as to whether Officer Jeff Largen had probable cause to arrest Candido...more

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