Commonwealth v. Baxter

During an encounter that was initially consensual, police had reasonable suspicion to conduct a protective search after the defendant refused to take his hands out of his pockets, which contained an L-shaped bulge. The officers – patrolling a high-crime, high-drug, gang-associated… Read More ›

Facebook’s Third-Party Doctrine

Yesterday the New York Times reported that, despite assurances to the contrary, Facebook has for years given other tech giants access to our individual Facebook activity and, more concerning, our friends’ identities and activities. Maybe I just have the Fourth Amendment… Read More ›

United States v. Terry (P)

Discovery of evidence seized during a traffic stop was not sufficiently attenuated from an unlawful search effectuated by surreptitious placement of a GPS device on the appellant’s vehicle, a flagrant constitutional violation. The district court’s holding that the appellant did… Read More ›

Commonwealth v. Carroll (U)

The trial court did not err in suppressing evidence obtained following the defendant’s warrantless arrest, following Collins v. Virginia, 138 S. Ct. 1663 (2018). Police had probable cause to arrest the defendant for felony eluding after he led them on a… Read More ›

Commonwealth v. Coleman (U)

A fingerprint analysis was not “fruit of the poisonous tree” and shouldn’t have been suppressed. The defendant contends that because the Commonwealth obtained his “identifying information” through an illegal seizure, a direct comparison between fingerprints on the handgun and the… Read More ›

United States v. Thomas (P)

The affidavit supporting a warrant to search the appellant’s cell phone was insufficient to support probable cause, but the detective knew the appellant had used a phone in furtherance of sexually abusing minors. This additional information supported probable cause to… Read More ›

United States v. Young (U)

One of the defendant’s three drug-related convictions – each related to possession of a firearm – must be vacated because the warrantless vehicle search wasn’t justified by the inventory-search exception. Whether through introduction of written police department rules and regulations… Read More ›

Collins v. Commonwealth (U)

Police relied in good faith on a warrant authorizing a search of the defendant’s cell phone, which yielded images of a firearm matching the one used in a robbery. The affidavit supporting the warrant may not have established the requisite nexus… Read More ›

United States v. Wright

Officers had probable cause for a warrantless vehicle search regardless of whether a drug-sniffing dog was reliable. The Jeep was owned by a person with an active warrant for charges of narcotics distribution, and it had just left a residence… Read More ›

Reed v. Commonwealth (P)

Even if Carpenter v. United States, 138 S. Ct. 2206 (2018), suggests that acquisition of five months of the defendant’s cell site location information was ipso facto an unconstitutional search, detectives and the prosecutor had a reasonable, good faith belief that their… Read More ›

Weathersby v. Commonwealth (U)

Even though a police officer had a reasonable basis to frisk a man apprehended for shoplifting, he lacked probable cause to remove a glass tube from the appellant’s pocket. Testimony didn’t suggest that it was “immediately apparent” that the glass… Read More ›