Search & Seizure

May 15, 2012

‘Protective Sweep’ Gun is Admissible

Police responding to four quick 911 “domestic” calls relating to a couple they knew did not exceed defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights when, after arresting defendant and making a protective sweep to locate defendant’s 14-year-old autistic brother, they asked the brother where the reported gun was and he pointed to a rifle in a gun rack; […]

May 8, 2012

Arrest OK on Dispatcher’s Wrong Info

An officer on a domestic call who took defendant into custody on a dispatcher’s report of an outstanding arrest warrant did not violate defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights in a search incident to arrest when he discovered marijuana and a bullet, even though the officer later learned the warrant already had been served on defendant; the […]

May 1, 2012

Search of Driver’s Laptop Upheld

A Lynchburg U.S. District Court denies defendant’s motion to suppress evidence obtained from a search of his laptop computer and other electronic effects, seized when rangers on the Blue Ridge Parkway stopped the 57-year-old defendant at a DUI checkpoint and discovered he was driving on a suspended license and a missing persons report had been […]

Apr 3, 2012

Passenger’s Firearm Is Admissible

A passenger in a vehicle stopped for excessive window tint and defective rear brake light cannot suppress a firearm found in the glove box by asserting the officer unnecessarily prolonged the stop for 19 minutes as he waited for a canine team and questioned the driver; the Alexandria U.S. District Court says the traffic stop […]

Feb 29, 2012

Vehicle Search Did Not Exceed Consent

The 4th Circuit offers a refresher course in assessing “probable cause” and reverses a district court order suppressing drugs found in a secret compartment of defendant’s car because the district court applied the wrong standards for determining whether police had defendant’s consent to search the vehicle and whether there was probable cause to search it. […]

Feb 24, 2012

Traffic Stop Extension Not Illegal

Although a trooper prolonged his traffic stop for excessive window tinting and a partially obscured license plate to ask some questions unrelated to the reasons for the stop, the additional time to inquire about defendant’s protective order and check his criminal background, prior to the drug dog’s alert, did not violate defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights, […]

Feb 16, 2012

False Statement Provides Probable Cause

A magistrate judge for the Big Stone Gap U.S. District Court recommends denying defendants’ motion to suppress evidence of drugs found in their van stopped within the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, as testimony from a park ranger and the recording of the traffic stop show the van’s owner consented to the search. Police found […]

Feb 15, 2012

Suppression Reversed for Probable Cause

On the commonwealth’s appeal, the Court of Appeals reverses the trial court’s pretrial order suppressing defendant’s admission of theft after his arrest and remands for a new trial. A Dollar General Store employee called 911 after he believe he observed an individual shoplifting.  He described the shoplifter as a white male, age 25 to 35, […]

Feb 1, 2012

No Suppression Under Posse Comitatus

A Russian national woman who initially was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service for an alleged sham marriage to an enlisted Navy sailor, but who ultimately was prosecuted for a sham marriage to a civilian, cannot get the indictment against her and her husband dismissed as a […]

Feb 1, 2012

Illegal Stop Not Purged by Assault

The 4th Circuit upholds suppression of a gun seized from a vehicle passenger during an illegal stop, and rejects the government’s argument that the illegality of the stop was purged when defendant resisted arrest and assaulted an officer. The district court found as a factual matter that an officer could not see the slight crack […]

Jan 19, 2012

Detective Comment Not ‘Interrogation’

Although a detective may have directly addressed defendant, who had asked for a lawyer, when he repeated that a co-defendant had made a statement about deciding to rob a “white lady” and hit her in the head with a brick, the detective’s comments were not the functional equivalent of interrogation, and the Supreme Court of […]

Jan 18, 2012

ID Request Was Consensual Encounter

A deputy’s initial encounter with a man sitting in his vehicle in a rural driveway where police went to serve felony warrants and request for the man’s license was a consensual encounter and police did not violate defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights when they found cocaine in defendant’s pocket after he consented to a search of […]

Verdicts & Settlements

See All Verdicts & Settlements


Read More


Are you or your law firm cutting back on holiday gifts to clients, colleagues or associates?

  • Yes, times are tough (78%, 29 Votes)
  • No, it's business as usual (22%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 37

Loading ... Loading ...