4th Amendment

Yes, Florida Police Check UPS Packages for Drug Shipments

In the recent case of James Johns, III v. State of Florida, the Second District explains the basics of 4th Amendment “Terry stops” while also illuminating the techniques that Florida police use to catch drug shipments sent via UPS (and presumably other carriers). The court sets the scene this way: …

4th Amendment

Can You Record Someone in Florida?

The question of whether you can record someone’s conversation in Florida arises frequently.  The answer lies first in a statute and second on the individual circumstances.  As a general rule, secretly recording someone in Florida is not going to lead to admissible evidence and could get the person who did …

4th Amendment

What Does Texas Shooting Case Tell Us About Subpoenas / Warrants for iPhone & iCloud Information?

  On November 5, 2017, 26-year old Devin Patrick Kelley allegedly shot and killed 26 people at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.  Mr. Kelley’s body was reportedly recovered from a Ford Expedition; he was found deceased from a single bullet wound (entering above right ear and exiting …

4th Amendment
1

Your House is Burning — Can the Fire Department Turn You In for Drugs and Guns in the House?

You may have constitutional protections in your house but the exigency of the circumstance gives constitutional permission to the first responders to enter your home.  Once the fire is extinguished, fire fighters are required to conduct an “administrative sweep” to confirm there is no other fire or danger.  During fire fighting or during …

4th Amendment

Police Cannot Perform a “Terry stop” just because someone is wearing a “funny hat”

A first degree murder conviction was overturned by the Fourth District Court of Appeal on August 31, 2016 due to the Court’s Fourth Amendment analysis of a bizarre description of the events.  In Lorenzo Sanchez v. State of Florida, the defendant/appellant was convicted of murder of a Pompano Beach convenience store …

4th Amendment

No Daubert Expert Witness Needed to Identify Marijuana, Rules Florida Court

The Third District Court of Appeal ruled in L.L., a Juvenile v. The State of Florida that a police officer who possessed sufficient personal experience with marijuana could offer a lay opinion — not an expert opinion — identifying the substance as marijuana.  The court held that meeting the five elements …

4th Amendment
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Find My iPhone Signal = Reasonable Suspicion for Police Investigatory Stop

The Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled on April 6, 2016 that a location signal from a robbery victim’s stolen iPhone provided the requisite “reasonable suspicion” to permit the police to make an investigatory stop of the suspects.  The court ruled that the evidence was properly admitted and the …

4th Amendment

Christopher Hopkins Speaks on Data Breach Law at Florida Atlantic University

Thanks to professor and attorney Larry Buck for inviting me to speak today about Data Breach & Cyber Security Law at Florida Atlantic University. We discussed:  Standing: how the Clapper case was filed too soon, they lost in the Supreme Court, and then three months later it was revealed, beyond their …

1st Amendment

Understanding Recent Case re First Amendment & Recording of Police

A recent trial court order from a federal judge in Philadelphia regarding whether a person has a First Amendment right to record or photograph police activity has gotten a fair amount of media attention and has even been labeled, “a bizarre ruling.” Agree with it or not, the analysis is …

4th Amendment

One Year After Snowden: How Safe Are Your Calls and Emails?

Back in April 2014, I spoke to the Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce about the security of emails and phone communications in the business world (materials are here). This article, “One Year After Snowden: How Safe Are Your Calls and Emails?,” summarizes the key Snowden disclosures over the last year …

4th Amendment

NSA Mass Surveillance – How Secure Are Your Calls and Emails?

Special thanks to the Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce for hosting “NSA Mass Surveillance – How Secure Are Your Calls and Emails?“ If you would like to download a PDF of the presentation, it is here (also under “Materials, along the right column of this page).

4th Amendment

NSA Surveillance – How Secure Are Your Calls & Emails @ Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce

  The Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce is presenting “NSA Surveillance – How Secure Are Your Calls and Emails?” on Wednesday, April 30, 2014. This presentation will explain NSA mass surveillance of email and phone communications and will discuss the security of your personal and business communications. It will provide …

4th Amendment

Conflicting Court Opinions on NSA Surveillance

One year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court issued the case of Amnesty International v. Clapper and… few people cared. After all, “Clapper I,” as it became known, held that political activists had no standing to even discover if the government was spying on them. But four months later, the floodgates …

4th Amendment

Government GPS Tracking Since U.S. v. Jones

The Supreme Court’s 2012 decision in U.S. v. Jones involving GPS tracking is trending towards being a landmark decision in how the Court interprets the Fourth Amendment in technology cases.   But what has happened to GPS tracking since the Jones decision? This February 2014 article from the Palm Beach …

4th Amendment

No Social Media Privacy for Alleged Colorado Theater Shooter

Defendant James Eagan Holmes, the alleged Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooter, sought to suppress records obtained from two “dating” sites, Adultfriendfinder.com and Match.com (to be clear, the former is for “sex and swinger personals”). TMZ.com apparently broke the story that Holmes, using the alias “classicjimbo,” had a picture of himself …