35. Do Guests in a Home Have the Same Privacy Rights as the Homeowner or Tenant?

  The answer depends on why the guests are there. If they are there for purely social reasons or to spend the night, they are probably protected against unreasonable searches and seizures to the same extent as the homeowner or tenant. However, if the guests are there for a brief commercial transaction or illegal purpose and are not staying overnight, then they do not have the same privacy rights as social overnight guests and thus may not be able to successfully challenge a police search that took place in their host's home. (Minnesota v. Carter, U.S. Sup. Ct. 1998.)

  36. Is a Search Following an Illegal Arrest Valid?

  No. If an officer lacks probable cause to make an arrest, the arrest cannot validate a search. Any evidence found during a search following an improper arrest is inadmissible in evidence.

  37. If an Officer Searches Me After a Valid Arrest and Finds Evidence for an Entirely Different Crime, is the Evidence Admissible?

  Yes. An officer can seize whatever evidence a proper search incident to an arrest turns up. So long as the search is valid, it doesn't matter if a seized object has nothing to do with the crime for which the defendant was arrested.

  Section VI: "Stop and Frisk" Searches

  This section describes when a police officer may conduct a limited search of a person for the purpose of assuring the officer's safety.

  38. Short of Arresting Me, is There Any Legal Basis Upon Which a Police Officer Can Stop Me on the Street and Search me?

  Yes, using a procedure known as "stop and frisk," authorized by Terry v. Ohio, U.S. Sup. Ct. 1968. For an officer to "stop and frisk" a person, the officer must have reasonable grounds to suspect that the person is involved in criminal activity. The reasonable grounds give the officer a legal basis to detain and question a person (the "stop"). And for self-protection, the officer can at the same time carry out a limited pat-down search for weapons (the ''frisk").

  Case Example 1: Officer Crosby sees Stills and Nash talking normally on a street corner. Having a hunch that a drug transaction may be underway, the officer detains and frisks the pair. The officer finds a gun in Nash's pocket, and arrests him.

  Question: Was the gun validly seized?

  Answer: No. Officer Crosby had no right to detain Stills and Nash in the first place. A "hunch" doesn't authorize detention; an officer must have "articulable facts supporting a reasonable suspicion." (United States v. Hensley, U.S. Sup. Ct. 1985.) Since the initial detention was improper, the frisk incident to that detention was improper, and the fruits of the frisk are inadmissible.

  Case Example 2: Officer Jacks sees Jill hiding under the steps of an apartment building. As the officer approaches, Jill runs away. Officer Jacks captures Jill and pats her down for weapons. The officer removes a hard object that turns out to be a plastic envelope containing burglar's tools.

  Question: Can Officer Jacks legally seize the tools?

  Answer: Yes. Officer Jacks had reasonable grounds for suspecting that Jill was engaged in criminal activity. The officer had the right to detain and pat down Jill, and remove an object that might have been a weapon.