Immigration Lawyers New York



Trivia, Page 4

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The rationale of the plain view doctrine is that if contraband is left in open view and is observed by a police officer from a lawful vantage point, there has been no invasion of a legitimate expectation of privacy and thus no "search" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment -- or at least no search independent of the initial intrusion that gave the officers their vantage point.

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Courts of Appeals have explicitly taken into account the risk of disposal of drug evidence as a factor in evaluating the reasonableness of waiting time. See, e.g., United States v. Goodson, 165 F.3d 610, 612, 614 (CA8 1999) (holding a 20-second wait after a loud announcement at a one-story ranch reasonable); United States v. Spikes, 158 F.3d 913, 925-927 (CA6 1998) (holding a 15-to-30-second wait in midmorning after a loud announcement reasonable); United States v. Spriggs, 302 U.S. App. D.C. 54, 996 F.2d 320, 322-323 (CADC 1993) (holding a 15-second wait after a reasonably audible announcement at 7:45 a.m. on a weekday reasonable); United States v. Garcia, 983 F.2d 1160, 1168 (CA1 1993) (holding a 10-second wait after a loud announcement reasonable); United States v. Jones, 133 F.3d 358, 361-362 (CA5 1998) (relying specifically on the concept of exigency, holding a 15-to-20-second wait reasonable). See also United States v. Chavez-Miranda, 306 F.3d 973, 981-982, n. 7 (CA9 2002) ("Banks appears to be a departure from our prior decisions. . . . [W]e have found a 10 to 20 second wait to be reasonable in similar circumstances, albeit when the police heard sounds after the knock and announcement"); United States v. Jenkins, 175 F.3d 1208, 1215 (CA10 1999) (holding a 14-to-20-second wait at 10 a.m. reasonable); United States v. Markling, 7 F.3d 1309, 1318-1319 (CA7 1993) (holding a 7-second wait at a small motel room reasonable when officers acted on a specific tip that the suspect was likely to dispose of the drugs).

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At common law, the knock-and-announce rule [in executing search warrants] was traditionally "justified in part by the belief that announcement generally would avoid 'the destruction or breaking of any house . . . by which great damage and inconvenience might ensue.'" [...] One point in making an officer knock and announce, then, is to give a person inside the chance to save his door. That is why, in the case with no reason to suspect an immediate risk of frustration or futility in waiting at all, the reasonable wait time may well be longer when police make a forced entry, since they ought to be more certain the occupant has had time to answer the door. [...] Suffice it to say that the need to damage property in the course of getting in is a good reason to require more patience than it would be reasonable to expect if the door were open. Police seeking a stolen piano may be able to spend more time to make sure they really need the battering ram. [...] Attention to cocaine rocks and pianos tells a lot about the chances of their respective disposal and its bearing on reasonable time.

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...[I]nterest in protecting the borders is illustrated in this case by the evidence that smugglers frequently attempt to penetrate our borders with contraband secreted in their automobiles' fuel tank. Over the past 5 1/2 fiscal years [written in 1994], there have been 18,788 vehicle drug seizures at the southern California ports of entry. Of those 18,788, gas tank drug seizures have accounted for 4,619 of the vehicle drug seizures, or approximately 25%. In addition, instances of persons smuggled in and around gas tank compartments are discovered at the ports of entry of San Ysidro and Otay Mesa at a rate averaging 1 approximately every 10 days.

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More than 90% of the persons sentenced in 1994 for crack cocaine trafficking were black, United States Sentencing Comm'n, 1994 Annual Report 107 (Table 45); 93.4% of convicted LSD dealers were white, ibid.; and 91% of those convicted for pornography or prostitution were white, id., at 41 (Table 13).

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