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Module 3 Discussion Questions
Do not answer the questions with only “yes” or “no.” You need to provide your reasoning and analysis.
Probable cause / Arrest warrants
1. The Court in Illinois v. Gates established the totality-of-the-circumstances test to determine whether police have obtained probable cause to make an arrest or conduct a search. Describe the totality-of-the-circumstances test and discuss how it works.
2. The police had probable cause to arrest Alan for robbery. They spotted Alan’s car on the street. The police stopped the car and arrested him without a warrant. Alan challenges the arrest, claiming the arrest was illegal for the police had no arrest warrant. Was the arrest illegal?
3. Nancy reported to the police that Alex had robbed her of her phone. Based on Nancy’s report, the police had probable cause to arrest Alex. The police went to Alex’s home to arrest him without a warrant. Alex challenges the arrest, claiming the arrest was illegal for the police had no arrest warrant. Was the arrest illegal?
4. Alice reported to an officer on patrol that Charlie had just robbed her of her purse. Two blocks away, the officer saw Charlie and ordered him to stop. Charlie started to run; the officer gave chase. Charlies ran back home. The officer arrested him in his home without a warrant. Charlie challenges the arrest, claiming that it was illegal for the officer to enter his home to arrest him without a warrant. Was the arrest illegal?
5. The police had probable cause to arrest David for burglary. They went to his home to arrest him without a warrant. After the arrest, the police searched his house and found stolen rings. At trial, David’s lawyer claimed that the police arrest was illegal for they had no warrant. The lawyer made two motions. The first is that the court cannot try the case and David should be released because of the police illegal arrest. The second is that if there is a trial the rings found by the police should be exclude from evidence. How should the judge rule on the two motions?