April 25, 2013
LP2 Assignment: Policing and the Constitution
Probable cause: sufficient reason based upon known facts to believe a crime has been committed or that certain property is connected with a crime. Probable cause must exist for a law enforcement officer to make an arrest without a warrant, search without a warrant, or seize property in the belief the items were evidence of a crime. Probable cause in my understanding means that a police officer cannot accuse you of a crime that they are not able to prove. If you are pulled over due to being suspected of drunk driving, they have to give you sobriety tests or see open containers in order to give you a ticket or take you into custody. They just can’t see you swerve while driving and take you to jail without proof.
Exclusionary rule: the rule that evidence secured by illegal means and in bad faith cannot be introduced in a criminal trial. The technical term is that it is "excluded" upon a motion to suppress made by the lawyer for the accused. It is based on the constitutional requirement that "…no [person] can be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law" (Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, applied to the states by 14th Amendment). The breakdown of Exclusionary rule is that police officials are not able to raid your house and find drugs or illegal items and use them in the court of law against without obtaining a search warrant first. This also means that when they talk to you about the offenses that you are being obtained on, they have to let you know that it can be used in the court of law. I think the exclusionary rule is a good rule because I’m sure a lot of people have gotten off because evidence was received illegal just to try to bring someone down. This law helps respect every individual right in my opinion.
Fruit of the poisoned tree: any physical or verbal evidence police are able to acquire by using illegally obtained evidence is known as the fruit of