Office of the Alameda County District Attorney

Pamela Y. Price, District Attorney

2021 Editions

COMPLETE SPRING-SUMMER EDITION (including Crime Scene Searches, Misdemeanor Arrests, Workplace Searches, and Suppression of Evidence)

COMPLETE WINTER EDITION (including the articles Principles of Probable Cause, Searches Incident to Arrest, and Miranda Invocations)

COMPLETE FALL EDITION (including the articles Probable Cause to Arrest, Plain View, and pursuing Misdemeanants)


Probable Cause to Search: The "Nexus" Requirement
Crime Scene Searches
Misdemeanor Arrest Quirks
Workplace Searches
Basics of Evidence Suppression
Principles of Probable Cause
Searches Incident to Arrest

Recent Cases

People v. McDaniel (2021) 12 Cal.5th 97
Issue: Under what circumstances may officers order a passenger in a stopped vehicle to remain inside?

People v. Jimenez (2021) __ Cal.App.5th __ [2021 WL 5905719]
Issue: Did an officer coerce a murder suspect into confessing?

People v. Cuadra (2021) 71 Cal.App.5th 348
Issue: Was the defendant unlawfully detained?

U.S. v. Weaver (10th Cir. en banc 2021) __ F.4th __ [2021 WL 3610861]
In the Winter 2021 edition we reported on a case from the Second Circuit, U.S. v. Weaver. In this case, two of the three judges on the panel ruled that officers did not have grounds to pat search the defendant. As we made clear, those two judges were not only mistaken, they displayed a shocking ignorance of basic Fourth Amendment law. For that reason, we said that the opinion would probably be reversed. On August 16, 2021, a larger [en banc] panel of the Second Circuit did just that. We will file a complete report on their ruling later, but because their reasoning is essentially the same as that set forth in our original report, we have posted a copy of that report here.

U.S. v. Guillen (10th Cir. 2021) 995 F.3d 1095
Issues: (1) Did the defendant's father have authority to consent to a search of his son's bedroom? (2) Did agents violate Miranda by utilizing an illegal two-step interrogation procedure?

U.S. v. Tuggle (7th Cir. 2021) __ F.3d __ [2021 WL 2946100]
Issue: Under what circumstances must officers obtain a search warrant to conduct surveillance by means of pole cameras?

People v. Tousant (2021) 64 Cal.App.5th 804
Issues: (1) Was the defendant’s rented Camaro impounded and searched illegally? (2) Did an officer conduct an illegal search of his cellphone in the vehicle? (3) Did an officer “interrogate” the defendant in violation of Miranda?

People v. Moore (2021) 64 Cal.App.5th 291
Issue: Did an officer have probable cause to search a vehicle for marijuana?

People v. Nunes (2021) 64 Cal.App.5th 1
Issue: Did exigent circumstances justify the decision by firefighters to look for the source of smoke in a shed in the backyard?

Lange v. California (2021) __ U.S. __ [141 S.Ct. 2011]
Issue: Under what circumstances may officers pursue a fleeing suspect into a home if the suspect was wanted for a misdemeanor?

Caniglia v. Strom (2021) __ U.S. __ [141 S.Ct. 1596]
Issue: Is there a "community caretaking" exception to the warrant requirement?

US v. Venezia (10C 2021) __ F3 __ [2021 WL 1727603]: In this case, a three-judge panel of the Tenth Circuit ruled there was insufficient reason to tow a vehicle driven by the defendant even though (1) they had arrested him on a traffic warrant; (2) the vehicle was located in the parking lot of a motel in a high-crime area; (3) the defendant was not a guest or visitor at the motel; (4) he did not know the name of the registered owner; and (5) he did not have a license, registration, insurance, or bill of sale. One of the three judges on the panel dissented, pointing out the many ways his colleagues had gone astray. Although the case may not stand, we mention it because it might be the most conspicuously mindless opinion ever written by court in the United States.

Torres v. Madrid (2021) __ U.S. __ [2021 WL 1132514]
Issue: Does a "seizure" occur when an officer fires shots at a suspect?

People v. Flores (2021) __ Cal.App.5th __ [2021 WL 568018]
Issue: Did officers have sufficient grounds to detain the defendant?

U.S. v. Reedy (7th Cir. 2021) __ F.3d __ [2021 WL 777768]
Issue: Was the detention of a burglary suspect unduly prolonged?

U.S. v. Bruce (9th Cir. 2021) __ F.3d __ [2021 WL 98242]
Issue: In attempting to identify a perpetrator, under what circumstances may officers show a witness a single photo of the suspect?

U.S. v. Trader (11th Cir. 2020) 981 F.3d 961
Issue: Must officers obtain a search warrant or other court authorization to obtain a suspect's email and internet protocol addresses from a provider?

In re J.W. (2020) 56 Cal.App.5th 355
Issue: Must officers obtain a Miranda waiver before asking an arrested minor to state his age if his age is an element of the crime for which he was arrested?

U.S. v. Knights (11th Cir. 2021) __ F.3d __ [2021 WL 908278]
Issue: Was the defendant "detained" when officers approached him to investigate suspicious circumstances?