Arrest/Search/Seizure Questions

Consider these questions in conjunction with the reading for today.

Question 1 is based on the following facts:

Police have a felony arrest warrant for Dave Deft. Officers have reliable information that Dave visits his girlfriend Gloria every night from 7 p.m. until midnight. Police believe Gloria is involved in drug activity but have no evidence to support that belief. At 8 p.m. one night, officers go to the door of Gloria’s house, knock and announce their presence and, when no one comes to the door, force their way in.

1. Was the entry lawful?

a) Yes, because the officers had an arrest warrant and reason to believe Dave was inside.

b) Yes, but only if the officers had probable cause to believe Dave was inside.

c) No, if their real reason for executing the warrant was a pretext to get inside Gloria’s home.

d) No, because they need a search warrant to enter Gloria’s home.

Questions 2 and 3 are based on the following facts:

Police conduct an investigation and develop probable cause to believe that drugs will be found at a specified residence. They also have information from the robbery unit that the homeowner may be involved in fencing stolen jewelry but they do not have time to get all the details regarding that offense. Police obtain a valid warrant to search for controlled substances and paraphernalia related to the possession and sale of controlled substances. Officers go to the location specified on the warrant and, without knocking, force open the door and enter the premises. They do a thorough search of the entire house, including closets, cabinets, dressers, etc. In a desk drawer in the basement, one of the officers finds a pouch, which she opens. The only thing in the pouch is a watch. The officer removes the watch and observes an inscription on the back. She calls the Robbery Unit and is told that a watch with that description was reported stolen several weeks before. The officer seizes the watch.

2. Was the entry into the premises valid?

a) Yes, because knock and announce is not required in drug searches since drugs are easily destroyed

b) Yes, if the officers had reasonable suspicion based on the particular circumstances that knocking and announcing would lead to destruction of evidence

c) No, unless officers had probable cause based on the particular circumstances that knocking and announcing would lead to destruction of evidence

d) No, unless the magistrate specifically authorized a no-knock entry when issuing the warrant

3. In a prosecution for possession of stolen property, should the watch be suppressed?

a) Yes, because, since the police knew about stolen jewelry, finding of the watch was not inadvertent

b) Yes, because the incriminating nature of the watch was not immediately apparent

c) No, because drugs could have been found in the pouch and thus the officer was in a place she had a right to be

d) No, because the officer had reasonable suspicion that the watch was stolen and therefore was authorized to examine it