What are the requirements before an individual may be stopped and patted down under the Terry case? How does a Terry stop and frisk differ from a normal search of an individual?
Discussion Board Guidelines:
The Court created certain boundaries for government agents with their opinion in Terry v. Ohio. These boundaries have since been codified in state statutes and policy agency procedures. Review the boundaries and requirements created by the Court in Terry. If you were an officer on the street tomorrow, how would Terry affect your behavior during a stop of a citizen? Also, compare and contrast the Terry boundaries with the boundaries of a more in-depth search.
When answering this discussion board, please remember that I am using this assignment to assess whether you have completed and understand the material within the module. It is therefore important that you make your answer thorough enough for me to assess your understanding. 250 words
THE FOURTH AMENDMENT
Limited government power is necessary for the laws of the
country to be enforced and the government’s business to be
A balance is required for democracy.
Terms fundamental to understanding the 4th Amendment.
The Importance of the 4th Amendment to Law
The 4th Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable
searches and seizures by the police is perhaps the most
vital component of criminal procedure.
It has given ample opportunities to the U.S. Supreme Court
to set forth when any government agent may or may not
act, as well as when they have an expectation, or duty, to
Wolf v. Colorado , 338 U.S. 25 (1949)
Facts: Julius Wolf was convicted of conspiracy to perform criminal abortions. He
argued that evidence obtained in violation of his 4th Amendments rights should not
be used against him in trial. The Supreme Court of Colorado upheld his conviction,
and the use of the evidence.
Issue: Were the states required to exclude illegally seized evidence from trial under
the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments?
Holding: Yes and no. The Court held that even though the Fourth Amendment is
applicable to the states, the exclusionary rule is not necessarily a component of that
Rationale: Any government agent (federal, state or local) is regulated by the 4th
Amendment by way of the 14th. But the Court reasoned that while the exclusion of
evidence may have been an effective way to deter unreasonable searches, other
methods could be equally effective.
Who is Governed by the 4th Amendment?
Private individuals or agencies are not regulated by the 4th
The Constitution was established to limit the power of government
and its agents.
United States v. Parker , 32 F.3d 395 (8th Cir. 1994)
Facts: UPS opened a duffel bag insured for $4000, consistent with company policy,
and found $4000 in cash, then alerted the DEA, which found drugs. UPS delivered
the duffel under DEA operation and Parker was arrested at the address.
Issues: Did UPS violate the 4th Amendment?
Rationale: UPS had no duty to secure a warrant as it was not a state actor.
THE FOURTH AMENDMENT
Illinois v. Gates , 462 U.S. 213 (1983)
Facts: The police received an anonymous letter outlining specific details about the
Defendants being involved in drug trafficking, later corroborated by their actions.
Issues: Is the letter enough for probable cause?
Rationale: Totality of the circumstances.
Made the establishment of probable cause by use of informants easier for police.
Whether a reasonable and prudent person would believe that PC exists
“Probable cause is a fluid concept-turning on the assessment of probabilities in a particular factual
context-not readily, or even usefully reduced to a neat set of legal rules.”
Search and Arrest Warrants
Government agents that have probable cause must go before a
magistrate (judge) and swear under oath about who and what they are
looking for and where they think it can be found.
In determining whether probable cause for a warrant exists, the judge
must consider the totality of the circumstances.
Whether a reasonable person would believe what the officers claim.
Not every judge will sign a warrant.
The officer may be told to come back with additional information.
Judges today will grant telephone warrants.
Knock and Announce Rule
Knock and Announce Rule
The general rule is that officers must first knock and
announce their authority before breaking into a dwelling
to execute a warrant.
The intent is to prevent the occupant from responding
with force against unknown intruders.
United States v. Banks , 540 U.S. 31 (2003)
Facts: Police went to Banks’s apartment to execute a warrant to search for cocaine, they
called out “police search warrant” and rapped on the front door hard enough to be
heard by officers at the back door, waited for 15 to 20 seconds with no response, and
then broke open the door.
Issues: Is 15 to 20 seconds long enough for police to wait after knocking and
Rationale: Analysis may rely on time it takes for destruction of evidence, not time to
answer door. It is not unreasonable to think that someone could get in a position to
destroy the drugs within 15 to 20 seconds. Reasonableness is under totality of
Some departments make this a policy matter.
No-knock exceptions made: when knocking under the particular circumstances would be
dangerous or futile, or that it would inhibit the effective investigation of the crime by
allowing destruction of evidence
The Law of Stop and Frisk
Stop- a brief detention of a person based on specific
and articulable facts for the purpose of investigating
No Miranda warning is required.
Articulable facts- actions described in clear, distinct
Frisk- a reasonable, limited pat down search for
weapons for the protection of a government agent
Terry v. Ohio , 392 U.S. 1 (1968)
Facts: Terry and two other men were observed by a plain clothes policeman in what
the officer believed to be “casing a job, a stick-up.” The officer stopped and frisked
the three men, and found weapons on two of them.
Issues: Was the search and seizure of Terry and the other men in violation of the
Rationale: The Court found that the officer acted on more than a “hunch” and that
“a reasonably prudent man would have been warranted in believing [Terry] was
armed and thus presented a threat to the officer’s safety while he was investigating
his suspicious behavior.”
Consequences of 4th Amendment Violations
An unlawful search or seizure can have two serious
1. The evidence may be excluded from court.
2. Internal sanctions as well as civil and criminal liability
may be incurred.
The Exclusionary Rule
Is judge-made case law promulgated by the Supreme Court to
prevent police or government misconduct. Ends do not justify
It prevents evidence seized in violation of a person’s
constitutional rights from being admitted into court.
An officer who has violated someone’s rights may sued, or
The exclusionary rule is by far the most frequently used means
to address constitutional infractions by the government in
The Exclusionary Rule
The exclusionary rule also helps:
Preserve judicial integrity by preventing judicial agreement in denying a
person’s 4th Amendment rights.
Deters police misconduct by making improperly obtained evidence
inadmissible in court .
Protects citizen’s constitutional right to privacy.
Rochin v. California (1952)
Searches that “shock the conscience” are a violation of due process, and
any evidence so obtained, will be inadmissible. Excluded because of
due process violation, not exclusionary rule, but standard cited.
Weeks v. United States , 232 U.S. 383 (1914)
Facts: Weeks was arrested by a police officer at the Union Station in Kansas City,
Missouri where he was employed by an express company. Other officers entered the
house of the defendant without a search warrant and took possession of papers and
articles which were afterwards turned over to the U.S. marshal.
Issues: Was the evidence admissible?
Rationale: Illegally obtained evidence is not admissible in court and the right to be
free from unreasonable searches and seizures under the 4th Amendment applies to
all invasions on the part of the government and its employees. Applicable to
Mapp v. Ohio , 367 U.S. 643 (1961)
Facts: Police officers received information that a suspect in a bombing case, as well
as some illegal betting equipment, might be found in the home of Mapp, who refused
to admit them without a search warrant. Three hours later, brandishing a piece of
paper, they broke in the door but did not find the bombing suspect nor the gambling
equipment. They did find pornographic material and she was found guilty for
possession of pornographic material.
Issues: Does the exclusionary rule apply to the states?
Rationale: If the rule didn’t apply to the states, the 4th amendment protections
would be meaningless.
Exceptions to the Exclusionary Rule
The exclusionary rule applies only in criminal trials in
which a constitutional right has been violated.
There are four exceptions to the exclusionary rule:
1. Inevitable discovery doctrine
2. Valid independent source
3. Harmless error
4. Good faith
Internal Sanctions, Civil Liability and Criminal Liability
Government misconduct could result in:
Departmental discipline against the officer.
3/8/2017 Terry v. Ohio | Oyez
P E T I T I O N E R
R E S P O N D E N T
L O C A T I O N
D O C K E T N O .
D E C I D E D B Y
Warren Court (1967-1969)
C I T A T I O N
392 US 1 (1968)
A R G U E D
Dec 12, 1967
D E C I D E D
Jun 10, 1968
Terry v. Ohio
Facts of the case
Terry and two other men were observed by a plain
clothes policeman in what the o埒�cer believed to be
“casing a job, a stick-up.” The o埒�cer stopped and
frisked the three men, and found weapons on two of
them. Terry was convicted of carrying a concealed
weapon and sentenced to three years in jail.
3/8/2017 Terry v. Ohio | Oyez
APA Bluebook Chicago MLA
Cite this page
“Terry v. Ohio.” Oyez, https://www.oyez.org/cases/1967/67. Accessed 8 Mar. 2017.
Was the search and seizure of Terry and the other men in
violation of the Fourth Amendment?
Sort: by seniority by ideology
In an 8-to-1 decision, the Court held that the search
undertaken by the o埒�cer was reasonable under the
Fourth Amendment and that the weapons seized could be
introduced into evidence against Terry. Attempting to
focus narrowly on the facts of this particular case, the
Court found that the o埒�cer acted on more than a
“hunch” and that “a reasonably prudent man would have
been warranted in believing [Terry] was armed and thus
presented a threat to the o埒�cer’s safety while he was
investigating his suspicious behavior.” The Court found
that the searches undertaken were limited in scope and
designed to protect the o埒�cer’s safety incident to the
8 – 1 D E C I S I O N
M A J O R I T Y O P I N I O N B Y E A R L W A R R E N
Hugo L. Black
William O. Douglas
John M. Harlan II
William J. Brennan, Jr.
Byron R. White
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