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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98482 Find in a Library
Title: Fourth Amendment - Officer Safety and the Protective Automobile Search - An Expansion of the Pat-Down Frisk - Michigan v Long, 103 S Ct 3469 (1983)
Journal: Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology  Volume:74  Issue:4  Dated:(Winter 1983)  Pages:1265-1281
Author(s): T M Ison
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 17
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In Michigan v. Long, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a police officer's protective search for weapons in the passenger compartment of a car does not violate the fourth amendment when, absent probable cause, the officer has a reasonable belief that the suspect is dangerous and may have immediate access to a weapon.
Abstract: In Terry v. Ohio, the Court ruled that a police officer can conduct a pat-down frisk for weapons without probable cause when the officer has a reasonable belief that the suspect is armed and dangerous. In 'Long,' the Court extended the 'Terry' rationale to protective searches of the passenger compartment of an automobile. Although the Court permitted such a warrantless search only because it was justified by the circumstances (which supported the officer's reasonable belief that the suspect was likely to have an accessible weapon), it did not sufficiently explain the requisite circumstances and limitations of a protective automobile search. This absence of guidelines may invite police searches of automobiles that cannot be justified under the fourth amendment. The author suggests procedures in which a protective automobile search should comply with the principles of Terry. A total of 109 footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Police safety; Search and seizure; US Supreme Court decisions; Vehicle searches; Warrantless search
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