Is a police officer, without a warrant and uninvited, authorized under the Fourth Amendment to conduct a search of a vehicle parked near a residence?
This is the issue the United States Supreme Court will decide next year in the case of Collins v. Virginia. I have a case in the Middle District of Alabama with very similar facts so I, along with others, will be watching this Supreme Court case very closely.
I have filed a Suppression Motion for a client based on a recent US Supreme Court decision, Rodriguez v. United States (2015.) The issue in Rodriguez is the extension of a routine traffic stop beyond the time necessary to write a traffic citation and what happens if incriminating evidence is discovered after that time. While my client was being held after a warning ticket had been issued, their car was searched by police. Drug evidence was found. I have argued to the Court that this search was illegal and that the evidence obtained during the search should not be admissible in court.
For more details, read below:
Recently, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memorandum instructing US Attorneys to charge the “highest readily provable offense” regardless of other factors in all cases. This reverses an Obama-era policy that called for charging leaders and violent actors more severely than non-violent, non gang-related actors. The net result of these changes in policy is, from our perspective, medium-term uncertainty of results for our Federal clients. Continue reading
I recently became aware of a Texas case involving the use of call centers in India who “impersonated officials from the IRS or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in a ruse designed to defraud victims located throughout the United States.”
I advise my clients to be very skeptical about anyone who calls and claims to be from any government agency or bank. Always ask for verification of identity, and never give any personal information like date of birth, social security number, address, etc. to anyone who calls. Continue reading
I received a call a couple of days ago from a reporter with the Montgomery Advertiser, and spoke with him briefly about a case that I am handling and he is continuing to cover. Here is a link to the article that he wrote about the matter:
I am happy that the local media is staying on this story and hope that the request that the Advertiser made under the Freedom of Information Act will yield some information that will be useful to us.
The Drug Enforcement Administration has, against all common sense and public opinion, decided that marijuana will remain on the list of Schedule I controlled substances. Schedule I is defined as a substance that is “highly addictive and without medical benefit.” This is a particularly bad decision not only for the thousands of Americans incarcerated for possessing or distributing this drug, it puts tens of thousands of people further away from useful and sometimes life-changing known medical uses of this substance. Continue reading
One of the most common questions I am asked is the effect of a felony pardon on a person’s ability to possess a firearm. The answer is a bit more complex than one might think at first glance.
The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles has the authority in our state to issue pardons and restore “civil rights.” These rights include the right to vote, the right to hold public office, and of course the right to possess a firearm.
The State of Alabama is in crisis. Our Speaker of the State House of Representatives, our Governor, and our Chief Justice of the Supreme Court all are hamstrung by accusations of impropriety, abuse of their authority, and failure to execute their office in accordance with their oath. Each is finding out what life is like on the wrong end of allegations. Meanwhile in the US District Court, the Middle District of Alabama is in the midst of a judicial emergency, having lost one District Judge to resignation and another to senior status. The presiding judge is handling the workload that previously was divided among 3 judges. Where and when can we expect relief?
Everyone seems to be talking about Apple and their refusal to comply with a court’s order that they “unlock” a phone that might contain evidence related to a violent attack in California. The case brings up serious Fourth Amendment concerns. Continue reading