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United States v. Stephens

Justia.com Opinion Summary: Defendant, convicted of illegal firearm possession, appealed the district court's denial of his pretrial motion to suppress evidence. A law enforcement officer, acting without a warrant, had installed a battery-powered GPS device under the rear bumper of defendant's vehicle. While defendant's case was pending, the Supreme Court held in United States v. Jones that the government's installation of a GPS on a target vehicle, and its use of that device to monitor the vehicle's movements, constituted a "search" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. The district court concluded that, in light of Jones, the officer's warrantless use of the GPS on defendant's vehicle was an unconstitutional search that led to the seizure of the challenged evidence. However, the district court held that the exlcusionary rule did not apply because the officer acted in good faith. The court concluded that, under the facts of this case, the rule announced in Davis v. United States directly controls: the officer's use of the GPS was objectively reasonable at the time because of the binding appellate precedent of United States v. Knotts. Accordingly, the court concluded that the exclusionary rule does not apply and the court affirmed defendant's conviction.

Timothy E. Zerillo has been included in every edition of New England Super Lawyers since 2010, for his Super Lawyers page, go to http://www.superlawyers.com/maine/lawyer/Timothy-E-Zerillo/ab011be9-fc96-44e9-ad28-3956da48c1b4.html

Timothy E. Zerillo has a 10 out of 10 rating from AVVO.com - for his ratings page, go to http://www.avvo.com/attorneys/04112-me-timothy-zerillo-1844626.html

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