Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

SCOPA: Police No Longer Need Warrants To Search Cars In Pa.

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • SCOPA: Police No Longer Need Warrants To Search Cars In Pa.

    SCOPA: Police No Longer Need Warrants To Search Cars In Pa.
    May 15, 2014 6:22 AM

    By Cherri Gregg

    PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - A recent ruling from Pennsylvania’s highest court could have a big impact on your privacy rights during a car stop.

    Pennsylvania traditionally provided broader privacy protection than the US Constitution. For decades, police in the Commonwealth had to get obtain warrant from a judge before they could do a car search unless time was of the essence or the evidence could be lost or destroyed. But now, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s 4 to 2 decision in Commonwealth v. Gary changes the rule.

    “There’ll be lesser protection of privacy in Pennsylvania,” says Dave Rudovsky, a professor at Penn Law school and a civil rights attorney.

    Rudovsky says Article I, Section 2 of the Pennsylvania Constitution had been interpreted to provide broader protection that the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution. Police had to contact a judge during a stop, either via phone or radio, for permission to conduct a car search. Rudovsky says the new ruling means police, not a judge can decide whether to search.
    “Now if police officers have probable cause– a good faith belief that a crime has been committed, they can search your car without having to first obtain a warrant,” he says.

    “The district attorneys offices will say this is about drugs and guns and that is true, but it does not end there,” says James Funt, an attorney with Greenblatt, Pierce, Engle, Funt & Flores.

    “Whatever is in the car can be searched,” he says, “it’s a slippery slope.”

    Funt says the ruling severely erodes Pennsylvania’s privacy protections by essentially concluding that citizens have less privacy in their cars than in their homes. He says people carry cell phones and other electronic devices in their cars and the court’s ruling means these items could be vulnerable as well.

    “Where does it stop? It doesn’t,” says Funt, “It will not end with guns and drugs.”

    For years, Philadelphia police have been taken to task over the abnormally high number of stop and frisks of minorities. (see related story) Funt says groups targeted for such stops, could be targeted for these searches.
    More.

    CBS
    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

  • #2
    “Now if police officers have probable cause– a good faith belief that a crime has been committed, they can search your car without having to first obtain a warrant,” he says.
    OK, so pretty much in line with the rest of the country. The question will always be "what is 'probable cause?'" That's been reasonably well-defined by the courts for a while now. Some of it is BS, most of it isn't.

    If the cop wants to search your car badly enough, he'll just create probable cause. It happens every day, unfortunately.
    It's been ten years since that lonely day I left you
    In the morning rain, smoking gun in hand
    Ten lonely years but how my heart, it still remembers
    Pray for me, momma, I'm a gypsy now

    Comment


    • #3
      I've said this before, generally to be mocked or dismissed.

      If the police will trample the rights of suspects on national television shows (COPS, Bait Car) they will surely do it in a dark alley or back street.

      Probable cause appears to mean two different things to the courts and the police. The police seem to have an attitude, "Well, I'll arrest you and fuck up your life, and we'll let the lawyers and judges sort it out."

      Surely, there is some way of holding police accountable for their violations. From what we read in the press, it doesn't seem to be making an impression. Officer Doright gets paid time off while taxpayer money is spent for internal affairs to decide that what he did was OK or at least not criminal.

      I don't want cops always second guessing themselves. I don't want them to be hesitant to do their jobs for fear of being sent to the principal's office. I do think that we have come to a time in the evolution of society when a police officer should have a college earned and issued certificate in the knowledge of Constitutional law. I do think that police officers should not merely take an oath to protect the Constitution, they need to take an oath to respect the Constitutional rights of _citizens_. And I think they need to be held personally accountable when they violate those oaths, and I don't mean paid time off, unpaid time off, or dismissal. I mean criminal or civil penalties.
      The year's at the spring
      And day's at the morn;
      Morning's at seven;
      The hill-side's dew-pearled;
      The lark's on the wing;
      The snail's on the thorn:
      God's in his heaven—
      All's right with the world!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Adam View Post
        OK, so pretty much in line with the rest of the country. The question will always be "what is 'probable cause?'" That's been reasonably well-defined by the courts for a while now. Some of it is BS, most of it isn't.

        If the cop wants to search your car badly enough, he'll just create probable cause. It happens every day, unfortunately.
        Cameras. More cameras. Not just cell phone cams, but cams installed in your car which can be aimed at the drivers side window and which police can't access.
        The year's at the spring
        And day's at the morn;
        Morning's at seven;
        The hill-side's dew-pearled;
        The lark's on the wing;
        The snail's on the thorn:
        God's in his heaven—
        All's right with the world!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Adam View Post
          OK, so pretty much in line with the rest of the country. The question will always be "what is 'probable cause?'" That's been reasonably well-defined by the courts for a while now. Some of it is BS, most of it isn't.

          If the cop wants to search your car badly enough, he'll just create probable cause. It happens every day, unfortunately.
          And that is what is wrong.

          Ok, I pulled you over because you failed to signal a lane change...

          (no proof)

          Would you mind if we search your car?

          No?

          Bring on the dogs....

          Uhh.. why the dogs?
          Why the objection?

          (goose the dog)

          "we got a positive"

          handcuffs, rights... pull the car apart..

          It's total bullshit.
          Robert Francis O'Rourke, Democrat, White guy, spent ~78 million to defeat, Ted Cruz, Republican immigrant Dark guy …
          and lost …
          But the Republicans are racist.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Gramps View Post
            And that is what is wrong.

            Ok, I pulled you over because you failed to signal a lane change...

            (no proof)

            Would you mind if we search your car?

            No?

            Bring on the dogs....

            Uhh.. why the dogs?
            Why the objection?

            (goose the dog)

            "we got a positive"

            handcuffs, rights... pull the car apart..

            It's total bullshit.
            Radar guns have to be independently calibrated from time to time. I think that police dogs should be independently measured for accuracy from time to time.

            From High Times (because it's the first article to pop up):

            A recent study conducted by the Chicago Tribune analyzed three years of data from police departments in the suburbs of Chicago and found that just 44% of dog alerts resulted in the discovery of drugs or paraphernalia, and that the average false alert resulted in a stop lasting almost a half hour. The numbers are even more staggering for Hispanics drivers -- the success rate was a mere 27%. Even accounting for alerts triggered by drug residue, the numbers suggest that the dogs are either being poorly trained or are responding to cues from their handlers like leading them too many times or too slowly around a vehicle.
            The year's at the spring
            And day's at the morn;
            Morning's at seven;
            The hill-side's dew-pearled;
            The lark's on the wing;
            The snail's on the thorn:
            God's in his heaven—
            All's right with the world!

            Comment


            • #7
              They always have a dog in our PFA courtroom. I'm still not certain why.
              Not where I breathe, but where I love, I live...
              Robert Southwell, S.J.

              Comment

              Working...
              X