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Criminal Law Procedure in Drug Bust

You are part of an investigative unit that has been monitoring a drug operation. You know that in the near future, your group will need to search the house and car of the person who has been a key figure in the operation. You also want to interview some of the suspected drug runners. You decide to review some of the Constitutional protections that apply to searches of house and vehicles, as well as to interrogations of suspects.

Prepare a briefing in which you discuss the basic elements of a 4th Amendment search, obtaining a warrant, and then identify at least 4 main exceptions to the 4th Amendment requirement for a warrant. Then, specifically explain how the 4th Amendment issues apply to the search of a home and vehicle. Also, discuss the case law that applies to one's right against self incrimination during an interview - make sure to explain when an officer must read a suspect his/her Miranda rights and what constitutes a valid waiver of Miranda rights. You should provide the necessary information to successfully seize evidence pursuant to a lawful search and question the suspects.

Solution Preview

There are several exceptions that could prevent the necessity of an officer obtaining a warrant under the 4th amendment, but I will focus on four of the main exceptions including consent, searches incident to arrest, the automobile exception and the exigent circumstance exception. If a person who has the legal capability to give consent decides to give consent to a search, then the officer has the right to search the person's vehicle, house, or other properties without a warrant. This consent is only available for the person's property and, if joint property is owned, only the spaces that the person has interactions with can be searched. The next exception is incident to arrest. ...

Solution Summary

The criminal law procedures in a drug bust are examined. The expert prepares a briefing in which you discuss the basic elements of the 4th Amendment search.