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Dog Sniffs at Entry to Home

Although the entry to a home is within the curtilage protected by the Fourth Amendment against unreasonable searches (see below), a police officer may approach a home in hopes of speaking to its occupantsjust like a private citizen, such as a neighbor or a delivery person. However, the scope of the license is limited. Police officers may not exceed the license by having a drug dog sniff around the entry
or other areas within the curtilage. Such a physical intrusion into a constitutionally protected area constitutes a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, and therefore requires a valid warrant or
warrant exception. [Florida v. Jardines, 133 S. Ct. 1409 (2013)canine drug alert at defendants front
door could not be the basis of probable cause to obtain a search warrant; the sniff constituted an unconstitutional warrantless search]
DNA Tests
When officers make an arrest supported by probable cause to hold for a serious offense and they bring
the suspect to the station to be detained in custody, taking and analyzing a cheek swab of the arrestees
DNA is a legitimate police booking procedure that is a reasonable search under the Fourth Amendment.
[Maryland v. King, 133 S. Ct. 1 (2012)]
Detention of Occupants
A warrant to search for contraband implicitly carries with it the limited authority to detain the occupants
of the premises while the search is being conducted. [Michigan v. Summers, 452 U.S. 692 (1981)] However, such detentions are limited to persons in the immediate vicinity of the premises when the warrant
is being executed. It does not give officers authority to follow, stop, detain, and search persons who left
the premises shortly before the warrant was executed. [Bailey v. United States, 133 S. Ct. 1031 (2013)]
Blood Alcohol Testing
Police officers may seize without a warrant evidence likely to disappear before a warrant can be obtained. [See Cupp v. Murphy, 412 U.S. 291 (1973)scrapings of tissues from under a suspects fingernails, which could be washed away] Whether such a warrantless search is reasonable is judged by the
totality of the circumstances. The natural dissipation of alcohol in the bloodstream does not automatically constitute a sufficient exigency to justify a warrantless blood alcohol content (BAC) test. As in the
case of any evanescent evidence, a determination of whether a warrantless BAC test is reasonable depends on the totality of the circumstances. In particular, where police officers can reasonably obtain a
warrant before a blood sample can be drawn without significantly undermining the efficacy of the
search, the Fourth Amendment requires that they do. In general, establishing probable cause is relatively
simple in drunk driving cases, and warrants can often be obtained expeditiously by telephone, e-mail, or
video conferencing. Thus, warrantless BAC testing often will be found unreasonable. [See Missouri v.
McNeely, 133 S. Ct. 1552 (2013)]
Punishment of Minors
The Supreme Court has found the execution of a person who was a minor (under age 18) when he committed his offense to be cruel and unusual under the Eighth Amendment. The Court has also found an
Eighth Amendment violation in a sentencing scheme that imposes mandatory life imprisonment without
the possibility of parole on a person who was a minor when the crime was committed. [Miller v. Alabama, 132 S. Ct. 2455 (2012)]
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