Write a 2 page paper analyzing the fact pattern scenario below. Please use Virginia state law. Your analysis should include application of the topics covered so far. For example, search and seizure, search warrant, execution of warrant, exclusionary rule, Miranda rights, and the right against self incrimination.Make sure all citations are in APA or Bluebook format.Please see the grading rubric, which will be used to grade this assignment.Leila is a police officer. She is out of uniform and knocked on Dan’s front door of his house and asked is should could enter to enforce a warrant she had. The warrant was a search warrant issued by a magistrate at the Lawrence District Court. His name is Mark McCale, a retired police officer for the state police department in Lawrence. The warrant indicated that “the first floor of Dan’s house will be searched for a gun used in connection with a robbery and some jewelry, which was stolen.” While looking in Dan’s house, Officer Leila smelled what she thought to be gun powder emanating from the second floor. Officer Leila immediately walked upstairs and found a gun at the tops of the stairs. She went to confiscate the gun and while doing so noticed a note attached to the gun with an address on it. Later that afternoon police officers went to the address of the house listed on the note of the gun. A bunch of jewelry was found at this address and collected by the police officers. The address was a known address for stolen jewelry to be pawned. While at Dan’s house, Dan told Officer Leila that, “I do not know what you are here for, because I did not rob the Terri Grubb’s jewelry store.” Officer Leila asked Dan to go to the police station and Dan agreed. As they walked into the police station, Magistrate McCale yelled, “is that the person who robbed Terri Grubb’s jewelry store?!” Dan replied, “I told Officer Leila already, I did not rob the Terri Grubb’s jewelry store.”
The selected case scenario focuses on a police officer involved in an active investigation of a robbery in Terri Grubb’s jewelry store. The case begins with a search in Dan’s house, a lead that triggers a subsequent investigation in another address, and ultimately Dan’s arrest. An analysis of the case scenario using Virginia’s state law reveals the appropriate application of search warrant and execution of warrant but a failure of the officer to observe Miranda rights and right against self-incrimination.
One of the most visible aspects of Law in the case scenario is obtaining a search warrant during a search on a premise. Virginia’s state law prohibits officers of the Law from searching places, things, or persons except by virtue and under a warrant issued by a proper officer (“Code of Virginia,” n.d.). In this scenario, officer Leila has a search warrant issued by the magistrate at the Lawrence District Court, which gives her the mandate to search Dan’s house.
Besides obtaining a search warrant, the Law is specific about the execution of a search warrant. Notably, the Law expects police officers to search the areas described in a warrant. However, provisions of the constitution, which supersede the state law, provides for the application of probable cause as a basis for an arrest or search (“Probable cause,” n.d.). For example, if an officer has a reasonable basis for believing that evidence is present in a particular place, they may search the area. In this scenario, the smell of gun powder provides officer Leila with a reasonable basis to believe that the gun used during the robbery is on the second floor. Therefore, although officer Leila’s search is not within the warrant’s scope, she could use probable cause as a basis for the search on an unlisted area.
After confiscating the gun, officer Leila proceeds to arrest Dan by requesting him to go to the police station. An analysis of this situation reveals an infringement of the Miranda rights as provided by the Law. As the literature suggests, in Virginia, Miranda rights constitute a warning issued to a suspect before an arrest. These rights may include rights of the suspect “to remain silent, that any statement he makes may be used as evidence against him, and he has the right to have an attorney” (“Constitutional right,” n.d., par.3). However, as seen in this scenario, officer Leila fails to state the Miranda rights when asking Dan to go to the police station. Arguably, although it is unclear whether the officer was making an arrest, Miranda rights must be stated to all suspects.
Besides the infringement of Miranda rights, there also appears to be a violation of rights against self-incrimination. As outlined in the literature, failure to give a suspect warning before custodial interrogation requires the suppression of any illegally obtained statements (“Constitutional right,” n.d.). The Law also provides individuals with the right against self-incrimination. Notably, “when an individual is taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom by the authorities in any significant way and is subjected to questioning, the privilege against self-incrimination is jeopardized” (“Self-incrimination,” n.d., par.5). In this scenario, Dan appears to have been subjected to a custodial interrogation when Magistrate McCale asked whether he was the individual that robbed the jewelry store. If the right to self-incrimination is taken into account, Dan can suppress any incriminating statement he utters during the interrogation.
“Code of Virginia” (n.d.). Virginia.gov. Retrieved from https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title19.2/chapter5/section19.2-59/
“Constitutional right against self-incrimination” (n.d.). Medvin Law. Retrieved from https://medvinlaw.com/miranda-rights-and-self-incrimination-in-virginia-faq/
“Probable cause” (n.d.). Legal Information Institute. Retrieved from https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/probable_cause
“Self-incrimination” (n.d.). Legal Information Institute. Retrieved from https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/self-incrimination