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Hot Pursuit of an Individual Suspected of Committing a Misdemeanor Does Not Allow Police Officers to Enter His Home

criminal defense attorneysJudge John Wilson sitting in the Criminal Court of Bronx County was recently presented with a case involving a warrant-less entry into a man’s apartment. Police officers were investigating a crime scene in the Bronx. Mr. Cruz approached the scene and threw a piece of metal at one of the police officers. The police officer claimed the piece of metal almost struck him. Thereafter the police tried to arrest Mr. Cruz. Mr. Cruz did not wait around long enough for the police to successfully arrest him.

Mr. Cruz ran to his apartment. The police entered his apartment and claimed Mr. Cruz resisted arrest. The police charged Mr. Cruz with possession of a weapon, resisting arrest, and obstructing governmental administration. The police officers claimed they saw that Mr. Cruz had in his possession and control a handgun which was located in his mattress.

Cruz Seeks to Have Criminal Charges Dismissed Based on a Warrant-less Search

Cruz took the position the police did not have authority to enter his home and search it without a warrant. The district attorney’s office took the position the police did not need a warrant because they were in hot pursuit of Mr. Cruz. Judge John Wilson claimed the hot pursuit exception allowing for warrant-less searches only applied when they were pending felony charges. In this case, Judge Wilson took the position since the allegations against Mr. Cruz only amounted to misdemeanor criminal charges there was not a strong enough stated reason to justify a warrant-less search of his apartment. The judge’s ruling stated the police were without authority to arrest Mr. Cruz in his apartment without a search warrant on a misdemeanor charge.

criminal defense for New YorkersElliot S. Schlissel has acted as a criminal defense attorney for men and women being investigated and charged with crimes throughout the metropolitan New York area.

United States Supreme Court Limits The Use Of Drug Sniffing Dogs

criminal defense lawyerIn a decision of first impression, the Supreme Court of the United States has recently ruled police officers cannot take a drug sniffing dogs onto the property of a potential suspect without a search warrant. Police organizations are concerned this will limit their ability to use drug smelling dogs to locate illegal narcotics.

Evidence Seized, Thrown Out Of Court

Justice Antonin Scalia, in the Supreme Court’s ruling, stated the Fourth Amendment of the United States constitution guarantees Americans the right to be free of government intrusion into their homes and in the areas surrounding their homes. He further stated “the police cannot, without a warrant based on probable cause, hang around on the lawn or in the side garden, trolling for evidence and perhaps peering into the windows of a home.”

Supreme Court Justice Scalia went on to say it was not the dog that was the problem “but the behavior here that involved the use of the dog.” “We think a typical person would find it is a cause for great alarm to find a stranger snooping on his front porch with or without a warrant.”

The case involved Miami-Dade Police Department and Federal DEA agents investigating a marijuana growing operation in Florida. The defense counsel for the individual charged with possessing marijuana plants argued the dogs sniffing outside the door of the home where the marijuana plants were located was an unconstitutional intrusion by law enforcement officers into the home without a search warrant. In this case, the United States Supreme Court agreed.

About The Author

help in criminal courtElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. and his staff of criminal attorneys have been representing individuals charged with crimes, investigated regarding crimes and arrested for more than 35 years. The office offers free consultations to prospective clients. The office phones are monitored 7 days a week and the law firm can be reached at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

Interrogation of Child Abuse Victims

The United States Supreme Court recently had before them the case of Camreta v. Green, 131 S. Ct. 456 (2010). In this case, the issue presented was whether the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution requires government officials to obtain a search warrant or parental permission before they can interrogate a suspected child abuse victim. The second issue was whether an official who fails to obtain a search warrant or permission of the parents can be held liable for violation of civil rights laws.

Child Protection Agencies claim that they need to investigate abuse cases without giving prior notification to the possible perpetrators of these acts. In this case, the social worker, Bob Camreta, conducted an interrogation of a child at the child’s school. This was done without a warrant. The United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit held that this warrantless interrogation violated the Fourth Amendment rights of the child. The court also stated that Mr. Camreta was protected by a qualified immunity from being held personally liable for civil damages under Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Law.

Child Abuse Allegations In New York

Here’s how the system works in New York: Someone files a complaint with the New York State Child Protective Services (CPS). A local investigator comes to the house and insists on seeing the child. If the parent or guardian refuses to let the investigator see the child, the investigator claims he’s going to get a court order. He threatens to take the child away from the parents. Although the Child Protection Agency seeks to protect children, in New York, they often violate the Fourth Amendment rights of the parents and the child.


Fathers’ Rights

We protect fathers’ rights in divorce situations. We litigate spousal maintenance issues (alimony), child support, child custody, child visitation and we deal with the equitable distribution of property issues in divorces. We also negotiate separation agreements on behalf of our clients. Should the mother seek to leave the state with the child, we litigate relocation problems.

When our clients lose their jobs or have reduced income, we bring applications to reduce child support payments. We also educate our clients with regard to the new no-fault divorce law. In contested, nasty divorces, we deal with issues involving parental alienation and parental alienation syndrome caused by one parent making negative statements about the other parent to the children. Should you have a Family Court or divorce issue, feel free to call us for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

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