Category: Criminal Procedure

Searches of Area of Immediate Control and Automobiles in Missouri


Searches of the area of immediate control happen to be among the exceptions to the requirement for law enforcement officers to have a search warrant under the Fourth Amendment.

Missouri criminal laws permit law enforcement officers to conduct searches of the area of immediate control of persons and motorists under lawful arrest. The term immediate control refers to an area with an arrested person’s reach, which includes the arrestee’s person and the area from within which they might gain possession of destructible evidence or a weapon. When used in relation to automobiles, immediate control refers to an area close enough to allow an arrestee to instantly gain control of an automobile’s movements. Searches of the area of immediate control happen to be among the exceptions to the requirement for law enforcement officers to have a search warrant under the Fourth Amendment.

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Searches On Persons Under Court Mandated Supervision In Missouri


probation searches

In Missouri, offenders on probation and parole are obligated to submit to warrantless searches by probation or parole officers throughout the period that they are under state supervision. As a condition of placing an offender on probation or parole, the offender is required to give up their normal 4th Amendment rights which protect citizens from unreasonable searches by the police. A probation or parole officer does not need probable cause to conduct a search on the body, car or residence of an offender on probation or parole.

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Police Interrogation And The Privilege Against Self Incrimination


The U.S. constitution’s fifth amendment protects a person from self-incrimination. The amendment states that no one “shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” This means that a person has the right to remain silent during police interrogation. According to the courts, the right to remain silent was initiated to help a person avoid the “cruel trilemma” of contempt, perjury, and self-incrimination. This is because a person who is forced to answer questions during a police interrogation may choose to;

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Applying Miranda


Applying the Miranda can be confusing for some law officers, thanks to Hollywood! Depiction and interpretation of Miranda in real life is far from what we are made to believe in the movies. The entertainment industry makes it look like every arrest requires Miranda without any due process. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

What is Miranda Rule?

The rule got its name from the Supreme Court’s landmark case of Miranda v. Arizona (1966). The rule gives criminal suspects in a custodial interrogation the right to remain silent. In essence, suspects have the right to refuse to talk without a lawyer during an interrogation. The aim is to ensure that the statements rendered by suspects are admissible in court.

Any evidence or information divulged under threat, coercion or violence is deemed inadmissible in the courts. It serves to avoid any form of self-incrimination by the suspect. The suspect must be made aware of his/her rights to remain silent, right to a lawyer, and the right to stop answering questions at any time. This rule is derived from the Fifth Amendment.

Applying Miranda

Miranda rule is applicable in the use of testimonial evidence during criminal proceedings.

An officer who is transporting a suspect is definitely not part of the interrogation and therefore has no right to interrogate the suspect concerning the crime. Such officer, however, has the right to ask basic questions about age, address and such. The detective assigned the case has the right to ask questions related to the crime but requires Miranda to do so.

Miranda rule is time specific. In cases where Miranda rule applies, the officer in charge must read the suspect the Miranda rights. If after maybe one week, the officer required further information from the same suspect, the officer must again read the Miranda rights to that suspect so far as the suspect remains in custody.

Miranda applies only to testimonial evidence. From the Fifth Amendment, this means testimonial statements that stem from facts.

The evidence must be obtained when the suspect is in custody. To determine whether a person is in custody requires the application of the ‘Reasonable Person Rule.’ Assuming you are as a reasonable person watching as a police officer places a person on handcuffs and puts them in a police vehicle and subsequently arrested, you would easily conclude that such a person is in custody of the police. On the other hand, if you observe an officer discussing with your neighbor who is out walking his dog, you would not see your neighbor as being in custody.

If an officer walks up to a suspect in his tennis court and interrogates him about a crime. The suspect, without knowing the officer has a warrant for his arrest and without the officer informing the suspect that he is under arrest, confesses to the crime. Upon such admission, the officer places the suspect under arrest without further interrogation. Miranda right is not necessary in this scenario as there was no custody or arrest prior to the confession of the suspect. No reasonable person will believe the suspect was under custody either.

Any evidence gathered must have been during an interrogation and conducted by state-agents. The questions must be such that would elicit incriminating responses from the suspect.

Miranda must be applied when these factors are present.

The Sixth Amendment and Eye Witness Identification


The Sixth Amendment and Eye Witness Identification

The procedures of witness identification face many constitutional challenges. The challenges to these procedures are focused on the provisions of the Sixth amendment below.
The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. reads in part; ”In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right… to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense”.

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Right to Speedy Trial in Missouri


Right to Speedy Trial in Missouri

The right to a speedy trial ensures that the state brings an individual to trial among bound points in time. There are completely different points in time supported federal law and state law. If the applicable point in time passes, the litigator could assert that his or her right to a speedy trial has been denied which the criminal charges ought to be fired. in addition to guaranteeing the correct to associate degree lawyer, the Sixth change to the U.S. Constitution guarantees a criminal litigator the correct to a speedy trial by associate degree “impartial jury.” this suggests that a criminal litigator should be dropped at trial for his or her alleged crimes among a fairly short time once arrest, which before being condemned of most crimes, the litigator includes a constitutional right to be tried by a jury, that should notice the litigator guilty “beyond an inexpensive doubt.”

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The Grand Jury in Missouri and How it Works


Court Room Grand Jury Missouri

Missouri is one of the several states in the U.S. that use a grand jury system to determine criminal indictments. Basically, a grand jury is a group of citizens selected to sit on a jury to investigate possible criminal conduct and determine whether charges should be brought against a potential defendant. Missouri laws empower the grand jury to conduct legal proceedings and decide if there is probable cause to believe a person has committed a crime and should be indicted. However, it should be noted that it’s not the responsibility of the grand jury to find guilt or propose penalties to a party. The grand jury in Missouri plays a key role in running a valuable test for prosecutors in making a decision whether to press charges or not

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Constitution and Gavel and probable cause

Probable cause refers to a legal standard used in the United States by the police to get a warrant for a search or arrest of a suspect. Grand juries use this for their indictments. It is the procedure used in prosecuting and arresting criminals and also to make searches which relate with their properties or personal issues.

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The Exclusionary Rule


Criminal Evidence, Criminal Procedure

The aim of the Exclusionary rule is to protect the rights of American citizens, protect them from arbitrary intrusion and dissuade law officials from abusing constitutional rights. The rule prevents the use of direct evidence gathered in violation of the Constitution inadmissible in court. Evidence such as one gained from unreasonable search and seizure or other unconstitutional manner may be suppressed by the court. This means that the court will mostly not admit such evidence in the event of the criminal’s trial. The rule is also employed when a violation indirectly results in incriminating evidence.

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No doubt, incidence knock on our doorsteps without prior notice; if one happens and the next statement you heard is “you have to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law; you have the right to an attorney, if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you?” How would you bring yourself out of such an ugly situation? There is usually a way out; consult with a criminal lawyer or a defense attorney as fast as possible.
Many times, we knowingly or unknowingly run into law-breaking incidences and this may call for an arrest or being held in police custody. There is a particular statement issued by the police during the course of the arrest; this pronouncement is known as the Miranda Warning.
The Miranda warning or pronouncement is a common warning issued by police to criminal suspects in their custody informing them the right they have to silence during interrogation that is; they have the right not to answer questions or give information to law enforcement agency or any other official.
As frightening as this statement is, it is a right given so that a suspect would not implicate himself during the course of an interrogation; although, not everyone knows the practical application of the right.
One may ask, what is the purpose of this right and how is it applicable to criminal suspects in police custody. Justice demands that everyone should have the right to speak without fear or favor which also extend to criminal suspects; which means a trial must take place before they are convicted or acquainted depending on the outcome of the trial.
However, it is always difficult for criminal suspects to defend themselves without fidgeting or altering implicating proceedings during questioning, and for their rights not to be infringed on, they are given a Miranda right; that is, the right to a defense attorney.
When eventuality occurs and one is a criminal suspect, the dominant thought in one’s mind will be how to get out of the ugly incidence; what you need to do is to take a chill pill and contact your defense attorney. The intervention of an experienced criminal defense lawyer goes a long way in curtailing any form of self-implicating statement suspects may profess during the course of an interrogation.
How Miranda warning is used varies depending on the law guiding each city. Missouri is one place that is dominated by police to maintain law and order. A situation may arise where you would be subjected to questioning or interrogation; you need to know your right, allow a criminal defense lawyer do the bidding in your stead.
The Missouri criminal defense attorneys handle issues involving reckless driving, moving violations, drug crime, license suspensions, and other related offenses. Reach out to a qualified … Continue reading