Arrest/Search/Seizure Questions 2
Consider these questions in conjunction with the reading for today.
Questions 1-3 are based on the following facts:
Officers have a felony arrest warrant for Sonya for felony non-support. They know she lives alone. Officers call her house and, when a female answers, they ask for Sonya. When the person on the phone says, "speaking," the officers hang up. They then come to the door, knock and announce "Police." When no one comes to the door, they forcibly enter the home. One officer goes upstairs to the bedroom and finds Sonya hiding under a bed. The officer places her under arrest and searches her. In her pocket, the officers find a film canister, which he suspects contains drugs. He opens the canister and finds a small quantity of illegal drugs, which he seizes. He radios for assistance and a second officer joins him in the bedroom. That officer searches a closet in the bedroom and finds a cigar box, which he opens. In the box, he finds additional drugs, which he seizes.
After receiving the radio report about the arrest, Officer Oliver, who had gone to the basement looking for Sonya, enters a bathroom in the basement. On the sink, she sees a clear baggie containing what she could easily tell was marijuana. She seizes the baggie. She then opens the bathroom vanity and finds an additional quantity of marijuana inside.
1. Are the drugs found in the search of Sonya admissible?
a) Yes, since the entry was lawful and the search incident was permissible pursuant to a lawful custodial arrest.
b) Yes, since the entry was lawful; but only if the officer had probable cause to believe that the film canister contained contraband or evidence of crime before he opened it.
c) No, although the entry was lawful, the search was unlawful because, since the warrant was for a non-violent felony, there was no reason to believe Sonya was armed and dangerous and therefore the search incident was improper.
d) No, since the entry was unlawful without a search warrant, the drugs found in the search incident are the fruits of the unlawful entry and are subject to suppression.
2. Assuming the entry was lawful, are the drugs found in the cigar box in the closet admissible?
a) Yes, since the drugs in Sonya’s pocket provided probable cause to believe there were more drugs in the room.
b) Yes, but only if the closet was in the area of Sonya’s immediate control
c) No, because since two officers were present and Sonya was in custody, there was no need to search in order to prevent destruction of evidence.
d) No, because the opening of the cigar box involved manipulation so the drugs were not in plain view.
3. Assuming the entry was lawful, are the drugs found in the bathroom admissible?
a) Both the drugs on the sink and the drugs in the vanity are admissible since the officer had probable cause to search for drugs in the house based on the drugs found in the bedroom.
b) Both the drugs on the sink and the drugs in the vanity are admissible since the officer had a right to be in the basement pursuant to a protective sweep; once he saw drugs in plain view, he could search areas within the immediate vicinity of the drugs.
c) The officer had a right to be in the basement pursuant to a protective sweep, but only the drugs on the counter are admissible because they were in plain view; a warrant was required to search for the other drugs.
d) Neither drugs are admissible since the officer had no reason to believe other people were in the house and therefore had no right to be in the basement.