Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Search and Seizure

The U.S. Supreme Court Says ‘No’ to Cell-Phone Searches Incident to Arrest By David J. Robinson September 2014 Article, Page 438 The Riley court established a rare bright-line rule under the Fourth Amendment when it declared that data searches of cell phones - regardless of type - are unlawful incident to arrest.
Citizen Tips and the Fourth Amendment By Rob Shumaker July 2014 Article, Page 336 More cases, including a new U.S. Supreme Court ruling, define whether a police investigatory stop based on a citizen tip is valid.
Police can search handcuffed arrestee’s luggage, high court rules By Janan Hanna April 2014 Lawpulse, Page 162 The Illinois Supreme Court rules that police can search an arrestee's luggage after he was handcuffed on a civil warrant for failure to pay child support.
SCOTUS rules warrantless dog-sniff search of home unconstitutional By Adam W. Lasker May 2013 Lawpulse, Page 222 Unlike an earlier decision this term that allowed dog-sniff evidence from a traffic stop, Jardines holds that the dog-sniff search of a front porch requires a warrant.
Admissibility of Dog-Sniff Evidence: Evaluating Probable Cause after Florida v. Harris By David J. Robinson April 2013 Article, Page 194 In Harris, the U.S. Supreme Court held that dog-sniff evidence can be admissible even if prosecutors do not lay a detailed foundation that the dog is well trained.
Vehicle Searches Incident to Arrest in Illinois after Gant By Michele M. Jochner January 2013 Article, Page 30 In Arizona v. Gant, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed warrantless searches when an arrestee is unsecured and can reach the passenger compartment or it's "reasonable to believe" incriminating evidence "might be" inside. But Gant raises as many questions as it answers - here's a look at how Illinois courts have reacted.
Ordering motorist to turn on blowers for dog sniff does not violate fourth amendment June 2011 Illinois Law Update, Page 286 On March 24, 2011, the Supreme Court of Illinois held that, as a matter of apparent first impression nationwide, police officers' actions in ordering defendant to roll up her windows and turn the blowers on high before they conduct a dog sniff of the defendant's truck exterior did not constitute an unreasonable search under the fourth amendment.
Mistaken good faith belief about law does not support probable cause for traffic stop May 2011 Illinois Law Update, Page 228 A police officer's good faith but mistaken belief about the law does not support probable cause to initiate a traffic stop, according to an Illinois Court of Appeals. The court affirmed a decision to suppress evidence, which was the result of a traffic stop initiated when an officer believed the defendant violated a traffic law but was mistaken about what the law actually prohibited.
Law expanded for police to seize vehicles operated in violation of law. PA 096-1289 April 2011 Illinois Law Update, Page 180 State lawmakers recently expanded offenses for which police may seize a vehicle. Vehicles, vessels, and aircrafts operated in Illinois are subject to seizure if the owner knows and consents to the use and that use violates certain laws. (720 ILCS 5/36-1).
Vehicles may be seized if used to steal precious or scrap metal. PA 096-0313 June 2010 Illinois Law Update, Page 292 Thieves of precious and scrap metals could have their vehicles seized if the vehicle is used to steal the metal, under a new law passed by state lawmakers. 
A Freer Hand for Police at Illinois Traffic Stops By Rob Shumaker December 2009 Article, Page 624 In response to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Illinois Supreme Court issued decisions that give police more freedom to search and question vehicle occupants at traffic stops.
Strip-search of student violates Fourth Amendment By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2009 Lawpulse, Page 490 Education lawyers say the U.S. Supreme Court’s Safford ruling confirms their longstanding advice to school officials: don’t strip-search kids.
Two traffic stops, no Fourth Amendment “seizures,” the court rules By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2008 Lawpulse, Page 548 The Illinois Supreme court rules for the state in two cases where defendants were asked for consent to search after a traffic stop.
Search of probationer’s computer deemed permissible October 2008 Illinois Law Update, Page 504 On August 12, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded for further proceedings the judgment of the Circuit Court of Kane County granting the defendant's motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence found pursuant to a search of the defendant's home by probation officers.
Traffic stop impermissibly prolonged September 2008 Illinois Law Update, Page 444 On June 26, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District, reversed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Henry County denying Bernstein's motion to suppress and sentencing him to 48 months probation for unlawful possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.
Traffic stop and subsequent Terry search valid when based on non-anonymous tip July 2008 Illinois Law Update, Page 340 On April 15, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District, reversed the judgment of the Circuit Court of McDonough County granting the defendants' motions to suppress two bags containing approximately 28 or 29 boxes of pseudoephedrine collected during a search of the defendant's motor vehicle after a traffic stop for improper lane usage.
Driving on Sunday not reasonable suspicion to make traffic stop May 2008 Illinois Law Update, Page 236 On March 4, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, affirmed the judgment of the circuit court quashing the arrest of the defendant and suppressing the evidence resulting from that arrest.
Police Interrogation of Motorists at Traffic Stops By Bruce L. Carmen January 2008 Article, Page 44 The Fourth Amendment prohibits police from turning routine traffic stops into investigations of other criminal activity.
Search valid with consent of co-tenant even where other co-tenant is home but asleep December 2007 Illinois Law Update, Page 632 On October 9, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, reversed the ruling of the Circuit Court of Cook County granting the defendant’s motion to suppress evidence obtained pursuant to an illegal search of defendant’s home.
Vehicle search incident to arrest justified even when arrest is made outside of vehicle October 2007 Illinois Law Update, Page 516 On August 9, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District, reversed the decision of the Circuit Court of Will County granting the defendant's motion to suppress evidence found in the defendant's vehicle.  
The Naked Truth: Fourth Amendment Lessons from the Supreme Court By Kerry J. Bryson July 2007 Article, Page 360 A review of recent home-search cases from the U.S. Supreme Court, including the Rettele "naked search" case from May.
Ban on secret compartments in vehicles unconstitutional December 2006 Illinois Law Update, Page 650 On September 26, 2006, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, reversed the appellant's conviction in the Circuit Court of Cook County for violating section 12-612 of the Illinois Vehicle Code. 625 ILCS 5/12-612. 
The limited lockstep doctrine By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2006 Lawpulse, Page 338 In a dog-sniff case, the Illinois Supreme Court wrote that it will interpret state constitutional provisions more expansively than their federal counterparts only under limited circumstances. 
Correspondence from Our Readers March 2005 Column, Page 106 Search and Seizure and the Illinois Constitution 
Searching the passenger compartment of a vehicle is lawful regardless of whether the suspect is arrested on probable cause or on a civil warrant March 2005 Illinois Law Update, Page 116 On December 23, 2004, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District, affirmed the Circuit Court of Adam County's decision denying the defendant's motion to suppress incriminating evidence found in his vehicle during a search incident to his arrest. 
Possession of FOID card and latex gloves not enough to raise reasonable suspicion December 2004 Illinois Law Update, Page 620 On October 12, 2004, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Kane County, granting the defendant's motion to suppress evidence seized from his vehicle after he was stopped by a police officer for three traffic violations.
A lawful stop and nervous behavior are not enough to justify a frisk for weapons November 2004 Illinois Law Update, Page 568 On August 27, 2004, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, affirmed the Circuit Court of Kane County's decision granting the defendant's motion to quash arrest and suppress seized evidence.
Grant of the defendant’s motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence was affirmed because the seizure of evidence was unjustified under the plain-touch exception to the warrant requirement July 2004 Illinois Law Update, Page 340 On April 2, 2004, the Second District Appellate Court affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Kendall County, granting the defendant's motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence. 
2003 Illinois Supreme Court Criminal Cases: Traffic Stops and Apprendi Retroactivity By Evelyn G. Baniewicz April 2004 Article, Page 190 A look at the leading criminal law decisions from the 2003 term
More on traffic stops and the Illinois Supreme Court By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2004 Lawpulse, Page 10 Here's a summary of two opinions that came down after last month's Journal article on the Illinois Supreme Court's recent interpretation of the Terry doctrine went to press.