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Looking For Obscure Case Law


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  • Looking For Obscure Case Law

    Around 15 years ago I remember reading an obscure court decision but can no longer find reference to it. Am hoping one of you can point me to the specific case.

    It’s a little difficult to explain. Here are the basics –

    Officers make an arrest for crime A. During a search incident to that arrest, they find evidence of crime B. The court later determines there was no reasonable basis to make an arrest for crime A and dismisses the charges. Defense counsel them moves to have evidence of crime B suppressed, reasoning that if the arrest for crime A was unlawful, so was the search and any evidence of crime B that was found must be tossed out.

    The court upheld the search and refused to suppress the evidence of crime B. In doing so they pointed out that while there was no reasonable basis to believe crime A has occurred, there was a reasonable basis to believe a third violation, crime C, had taken place. The fact that the officers failed to charge, overlooked, or were even oblivious to crime C was irrelevant to the court. Probable cause to believe crime C had been committed existed at the time of the arrest and therefore any search was incident to the arrest, even though the wrong violation was charged.

    In other words, the officers made an arrest for which there was no reasonable basis, but the courts said it was good anyway because they found a reasonable basis to make an arrest for an entirely different crime the officers were completely oblivious to.

    Does this ring a bell with anyone?
    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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