Category: Fourth Amendment

Police Need a Warrant for Cell Tower Location Data

Police cannot use cell tower data to track your location for days on end without getting a warrant, according to the US Supreme Court. In Carpenter v. United States, a slim majority of the Court seems to recognize that decades-old precedents don’t adequately address privacy concerns raised by law enforcement’s use of new technologies. Though [..]

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Drug Dog Fail

A police officer was caught on video abusing his K-9 partner after the drug dog failed to give him probable cause to search the car of someone he pulled over. In the video, an officer walks his K-9 partner around a car – which he pulled over because its windows were tinted – to sniff [..]

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Can Police Test Your Fingerprints for Drug Use Now?

New technologies that make it easier for police to identify suspects and charge them almost always present courts with constitutional concerns. One that is quickly making its way here is drug tests from fingerprints… Whether it’s widespread use of license plate readers or the vast array of surveillance tools used by the National Security Agency, [..]

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Drug Tests for Everyone?

It’s another busy day at work, but you promised yourself you would donate blood. So, you swing by the Red Cross donation center and give the gift of life before heading back to the office. A few days later, there’s a knock at the door. When you open it, a couple of police officers pull [..]

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Police Drones in South Carolina

Across the country, police departments are increasingly using unmanned drones for law enforcement. Two things are clear: 1) Use of drones by police is a reality that is already here; and 2) The scope of the use of drones by police will continue to expand over the next few decades. Although many civil rights groups [..]

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Curtilage Revisited – Trafficking Weight Cocaine Suppressed

Last December, I wrote about State v. Bash, where the S.C. Supreme Court thankfully re-affirmed that a police officer cannot enter a person’s yard without a warrant or exigent circumstances in order to search for drugs.  The defendant was charged with trafficking in cocaine > 400 grams and trafficking in crack cocaine 10-28 grams.  The [..]

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