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Writing Sample 2 Essay

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v. No. 2:11-CR-2215



Statement of Facts
Around two-thirty in the morning on October 9, 2011, Michael Callahan and his friend, Mr. Williams, were walking home from a party when a marked police cruiser pulled near them and two uniformed, armed police officers approached them. Officers Martinez and Adams asked Callahan were he and his friend were heading, to which Callahan replied that he lived a few blocks from home and he was heading there. Adams cooperated with Officer Adams’ additional questions and gave his name and address when requested. Adams, without informing Callahan he was free to leave, requested identification from Callahan, which was provided. Callahan produced a Pineville Technical College identification card where he is a student. Aside from identification, this card is also necessary to borrow items from the library and to gain access to the campus after hours.

While Officer Adams did maintain a conversational tone with Callahan and did not brandish his weapon, he and his partner, Officer Martinez, did separately interrogate Callahan and Williams with each officer standing a mere few feet from each individual. At no time did Officers Adams or Martinez inform either individual he was free to refuse police requests or leave the scene and continue home. Officer Adams verified Callahan’s identity, age, and address by quickly examining the college identification in less than a minute.

Despite the fact that Officer Adams admits to having no specific reason to believe Callahan was engaged in any criminal activity, he retained Callahan’s identification and returned to his patrol car. Callahan was never informed that he did not have to wait for his identification back or that he could request it back, so he waited for ten minutes on a largely abandoned street at 2:30 a.m. for the return of his needed identification. Upon returning to their patrol car the officers ran an active warrant check on Callahan which revealed an outstanding DUI charge for Callahan. When he was subsequently searched incident to the arrest for the active warrant, Officer Adams found certain controlled substances on his person. Callahan now moves to suppress the evidence. Issue

Under the Fourth Amendment, should the Court grant the defendant’s motion to suppress the evidence obtained by the State of Franklin through when Officers Adams and Martinez questioned Callahan without informing him he could refuse, the incident took place at 2:30a.m on a deserted street in a residential neighborhood, Officers Adams and Martinez had no specific reason to believe either Callahan or his companion were engaged in criminal activity, and Officer Adams took possession, and after verifying Callahan’s identity, retained his identification as he took it to his police cruiser to run a warrants check which effectively seized the defendant unreasonably?


The Fourth Amendment protects an individual’s right to be secure in her person, home, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures. U.S. Const. amend. IV. While there is a public interest in effective policing this must be balanced with each person’s security from illegal searches and seizures. United States...

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