Criminal & Traffic Laws
What’s new in the latest edition of the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Handbook:
“Man with a gun.” Pa. Supreme Court overrules prior cases and now holds that the possession of a concealed firearm in public, by itself, is not sufficient to create a reasonable suspicion that the person is illegally carrying that firearm (for a frisk), or that criminal activity may be afoot. Com. v. Hicks.
Probable cause defeats a claim of police retaliation for a person’s protected First Amendment speech. Nieves v. Bartlett.
Amended language of §8953(a)(3) (Municipal Police Jurisdiction Act) used to find lawful the extraterritorial actions taken by a member of the Lycoming County Narcotics Enforcement Unit’s (NEU) interdiction roving patrol force. Com. v. Forsythe. Here, the statutory change was explicitly intended to reverse the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the MPJA in Com. v. Hlubin.
Officer’s identification made after an unlawful warrantless search of a cell phone upheld as proper since it was based on observations that were independent of the improper search. Com. v. Santiago.
A strong odor of marijuana emanating from a residence creates probable cause for a search warrant. Com. v. Handley.
Odor of burnt marijuana and a small “blunt” recovered from vehicle’s passenger compartment did not generate probable cause to believe additional contraband was in the trunk. Com. v. Scott.
Search warrant for a multi-bedroom residence permits police to search the entire residence and all bedrooms within, where the warrant and affidavit of probable cause are premised on the activity of only one occupant in that residence. Com. v. Turpin.
Defendant abandoned any expectation of privacy in his cell phone when he “intentionally and voluntarily” left the phone unattended, powered on, and operating as a recorder in a Villanova University dormitory bathroom. Com. v. Kane.
Warrantless blood draw of DWI motorist lawful in cases where the driver is unconscious. Mitchell v. Wisconsin.
Computer technician was not acting as an agent of the government when he discovered the thumbnail images of child pornography on defendant’s computer, nor did the police exceed the scope of the technician’s private search. Com. v. Shaffer.
Motor vehicle stop for a traffic violation permits the police to detain the driver and all passengers while the officer attends to the duties of the stop. Com. v. Dunham.
The Pennsylvania Criminal and Traffic Law Manual includes legislation from the latest legislative session and includes a valuable presentation of Police Procedure: Arrest, Search and Seizure, and Confession Law. Also included are a Table of Affected Statutes and Table of Contents for quick access to each area of the law.
What’s new in the latest edition of the Pennsylvania Criminal and Traffic Law Manual:
- A law enforcement entry into a home to execute an arrest warrant must be authorized by a judge’s determination of probable cause to search that home, whether by a separate search warrant or contained within the arrest warrant itself. Commonwealth v. Romero.
- An officer’s act of powering on a cell phone to gather evidence, without a warrant, violates both the United States and Pennsylvania Constitutions. Commonwealth v. Fulton.
- Auto exception does not permit an officer, without authorization, to enter the curtilage of a home in order to search a vehicle parked at the top of the home’s driveway. Collins v. Virginia.
Now available in eBook format and includes a valuable presentation of Police Procedure: Arrest, Search and Seizure, and Confession Law.
The 2019 Edition of Pennsylvania Civil Procedure includes select portions of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes (current through the 2018 legislative session), the Pennsylvania Code, and select Pennsylvania Rules.