Memorandum in the case of: The State v Bob Jones

573 words | 2 page(s)

In the case of Bob Jones (Jones) the issues that have to be considered is whether there has been a breach of the Fourth Amendment with respect to the stop, search and seizure of cannabis.

Brief Answer:
The stop is legal, because it is the use of a routine stop to determine if there are drivers under the influence of drugs/drink. The search is not legal, because the officer can only undertake a plain view search, because there is no probable cause that Jones is engaged in illegal activities (i.e. driving under the influence) to allow a Terry Search. This means that the seizure is in breach of the Fourth Amendment and will be classed as ill-gotten gains.

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The stop is related to a routine stop at a planned “Driver Safety Checkpoint” conducted by the Illinois State Police on Route 20. Jones complied with the stop and followed the first officer’s directions to get out of the car and answered the questions in regards to driving under the influence. Jones has not been driving under the influence so there is no probable cause of illegality. The second officer undertook a search of the car, which included him removing a three-ring binder and opening it to find cannabis. The cannabis was seized, Jones arrested for possession (720 ILCS 550/5(b)) and then released on a recognizance bond.

The first issue to consider is if the stop is compliant with the Fourth Amendment, in the case of Jones. The second issue to consider is whether the search was legal under the Fourth Amendment (i.e. was the plain sight test breach or was there probable cause for a Terry Search). The final consideration is whether the seizure is legal under the Fourth Amendment.
The right to stop a vehicle on a routine traffic stop is compliant with the Fourth Amendment. Knowles v Iowa held a routine stop is legitimate, which gives the police officer the right to ask the driver to get out of the car, be questioned and patted down. If there is not probable cause from these acts then there should not be an unduly long detention of the driver .

The case of Maryland v. Wilson held that even a minor infraction is not sufficient for a detention of the driver. It was also identified that there has to be probable cause for there to be a search that extends past a plain sight search . If there was probable cause, either from the plain view search of the car or the actions of Jones, which indicates criminality then a Terry Stop/Search will be allowed . As there is no indication of criminality from the plain sight search or questioning Jones, the search conducted by looking into the folder is in breach of the Fourth Amendment .

The seizure of the evidence is an example of ill-gotten gains and inadmissible . There is no defense of a good faith search , because there is a flagrant breach of the Fourth Amendment. The consequence of the evidence being in breach of the Fourth Amendment, the arrest will be illegitimate, which means that the case should be dismissed.

The search and seizure of the cannabis is in breach of the Fourth Amendment, which means that the arrest of Jones is illegitimate as wholly reliant on the ill-gotten gains evidence. Therefore, it is recommended that a petition to the court is made to dismiss the charges.

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