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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 134341 Find in a Library
Title: Voluntary Encounters or Fourth Amendment Seizures?
Journal: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin  Volume:61  Issue:1  Dated:(January 1992)  Pages:28-32
Author(s): A L Dipietro
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
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Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
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United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
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United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines the factors that courts consider relevant in determining when a seizure occurs and reviews two recent Supreme Court decision applying those factors to police encounters with bus passengers and to police chases.
Abstract: The Supreme Court applies a reasonable person standard to distinguish a consensual encounter from a seizure. It determines whether a consensual encounter is transformed into a seizure by assessing the coercive effect of police conduct. In the case of a police encounter with a bus passenger, the Supreme Court ruled the encounter was consensual because the passenger movements were confined as the natural result of his decision to take the bus and not because the police conduct was coercive. In the police chase case, the Supreme Court ruled that a necessary condition for a seizure affected through a show of authority is a submission to that authority. The following eight factors are considered relevant in determining whether a particular encounter between police and citizens in consensual or a fourth amendment seizure: physical contact, number of officers, display of weapons, interference with freedom of movement, movement from the initial site of the encounter, demeanor and appearance, retention of personal property, and advising citizens about their right to refuse. Knowing these factors will help officers ensure that the fourth amendment is not implicated until they have established sufficient suspicion to justify a seizure.
Main Term(s): Search and seizure laws
Index Term(s): Freedom of movement; US Supreme Court decisions; Vehicle searches
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