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Legal justification

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You will be presented with several scenarios, each containing a different set of circumstances and facts. In each, you must determine if an arrest has occurred and if the evidence obtained is admissible at trial.

Scenario 1

An officer approaches you and states, "You are under arrest." He places you in handcuffs and leads you to his car. While walking, he reads you your Miranda rights and asks you if you have anything to say. The officer does not specify why you have been arrested, but you confess to a series of criminal actions. Has an arrest occurred, and are your statements admissible?

Scenario 2

You are stopped at a sobriety checkpoint on the way home from dinner one night. The officer speaks with you and determines that you are not intoxicated. Your passenger has fallen asleep, and the officer suspects the passenger might be intoxicated and wants to check his or her age. The officer makes your passenger exit the vehicle and, while speaking, the officer conducts a frisk. Your passenger has a small vial of cocaine in the pocket that is discovered during the frisk. Does an arrest occur in this situation, and are the drugs admissible against either you or the passenger?

Scenario 3

You are woken by the police pounding on your door demanding to be let in. Upon opening the door, you are cuffed and made to sit on your couch while the police execute a search warrant. You are given a copy of the warrant and notice that the address is for the apartment across the hall from yours. You point this out, and the police realize the error and cease their search. Prior to stopping, the police find several marijuana plants in your closet and seize them. Has an arrest occurred here, and are the plants admissible at trial?

Be sure to specify if an arrest has occurred and why. Also, be sure to state specifically why each piece of evidence is admissible or not.

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Solution Summary

Legal justification is determined. The different circumstances of facts are given.

Solution Preview

In the first scenario, the officer must have had probable cause to arrest you, if he or she does not, then the arrest would not be legal. If probable cause existed, the arrest is legal, and because (your) Miranda rights were read, the confession will be ...

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  • Masters of Science , Kaplan University
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