The Campaign For DA

4.23.2008

Supreme Court Hysteria

Supreme Court News This Morning: Facts: Cops violated Virginia law by arresting a guy for driving on a suspended license instead of writing him a ticket. They then searched his car "incident to the [illegal] arrest" and found crack cocaine. Defendant then tries to have the trial court suppress the evidence of crack as an illegal search under the U.S. Constitution. What The Case Says: Just because the cops broke a state law doesn't mean the federal 4th Amendment was violated. Crack cocaine comes into evidence. Impact In Texas: None. First, cops can lawfully arrest you for any Class C violation with the exception of Speeding and Open Container. In the event the cops break the law and arrest you for those two offenses, any evidence they find will be suppressed because a state statute says so (unlike Virginia.) See Texas Code Of Criminal Procedure 38.23 (any evidence found as a result of a violation of state law can't be used against you.) So the evidence will be thrown out not because of the the 4th Amendment, but because of a state statute -- At least if your lawyer objects on the basis of 38.23 and not the 4th Amendment. Caveat: At least that's my gut reaction.