5th and 6th amendment

The Fourth Amendment protects the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, and provides that no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons to be seized. In order to establish probable cause, the officer must establish that there is a fair probability that the area to be searched contains evidence or the person to be arrested has committed a crime; a mere possibility is insufficient.
A search without a warrant is presumed unreasonable absent the resence of a recognized exception. U. S. v. Johnson. The Supreme Court has held that this is permissible, but only under certain circumstances. The first issue is whether Detective Davis (DD) committed a search when she went down to the basement. A search occurred if Bishop Short had a subjective expectation of privacy which society would deem to be reasonable (Katz v. U. S. The defense would likely argue that the Bishop (B) had a subjective expectation of privacy in the basement, and that there was an objective expectation of privacy also because only the area where services took place were open to the public. The government would counter by arguing that DD simply walked downstairs during the services, which were open to the public, so anyone nad access to this area. Additionally, there was a children’s playroom, which could be used to take loud or crying babies during the services, and that was therefore accessible to the public.
If other members of society could gain access and view the basement, then there was not an objective expectation of privacy. Accordingly, DD did not commit a search simply by going into the basement. Whether a search occurred becomes less clear once DD entered B’s office. The overnment would argue that the door was open, so DD did not commit a search by merely entering B’s office. Whether this was a search was less significant, however, than the opening of the desk drawer. Even if DD had legal access to the office, she certainly “searched” when she opened the drawer.

According to the plain view exception of the warrant requirement, a police officer can seize anything in plain view once legally in a space, but the officer needs probable cause to believe that what is immediately apparent is contraband or evidence of a crime, and it cannot require further investigation. Arizona v. Hicks. The Supreme Court has even eld that lifting a turntable to view a serial number is an illegal search that extends beyond the limits of the plain view doctrine. Arizona v. Hicks.
Certainly, opening the desk drawer is more of an invasion ot privacy than litting a turntable. Further, the detense would argue that B had both a subjective and objective (an expectation that society is prepared to recognize as reasonable) expectation of privacy in the contents of the drawer. Katz. B would argue he had a subjective expectation of privacy, mostly because the drawer was closed, but also that society would recognize this as a reasonable expectation because the drawer was closed.
If the government had not brought this up earlier, it would certainly bring up the argument by now that it had probable cause to believe there was evidence of the crime (possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute) based on the informant’s tip. Whether an informant’s tip is sufficient for establishing probable cause depends on the Gates totality of the circumstances test, where there should be particularized facts that show given all the circumstances, there is a fair probability that contraband or evidence of a crime will be found.
To simply say that the drugs are “stored somewhere in the church” is not necessarily enough to establish probable cause. Even if it was enough to establish probable cause, DD certainly had time to get a warrant before searching the church. Accordingly, by the time DD opened the drawer, a court would likely find that DD committed a “search”, and anything she found therein wou d be suppress certainly ed. The detense woul d take this one step turtner and argue that opening the bible was a search, even if opening the drawer wasn’t.
DD would have needed to get a warrant to open and search the bible. Accordingly, a court would likely find that DD illegally searched B’s drawer when she opened the drawer and opened the bible, and the ocaine would likely be suppressed as evidence to be used against B. A court would likely similarly suppress the cocaine, spreadsheets, and cash found in the room next to the office. The defense would argue that B had both a subjective and reasonable, objective expectation of privacy in this room (Katz) and that DD had no warrant that allowed her to legally enter this area.

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