Publications

Articles on Search and Seizure

Where probable cause for traffic stop exists, use of narcotics dog does not violate Fourth Amendment if stop is not unreasonably prolonged

November
2015
Illinois Law Update
Page 20
On August 26, 2015, the Third District Appellate Court reversed the circuit court's grant of defendants' motions to suppress evidence of heroin obtained during a traffic stop.

A Sniff Too Far: No Dog Sniffs after Completed Traffic Stops

By David J. Robinson
July
2015
Article
Page 42
Unless they have reasonable suspicion, police may not extend an otherwise completed traffic stop to conduct a dog sniff.

Ignorance of the law - an excuse after all?

By Matthew Hector
February
2015
LawPulse
Page 12
The Supreme Court ruled that a "reasonable mistake of law" can provide reasonable suspicion to justify a traffic stop. Are police being held to a lower standard than ordinary citizens?

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.

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