Law Enforcement / Police

Are You the Cable Guy or the FBI?

Are you the cable guy or the FBI?

 

By Elizabeth B. Carpenter

 

New Orleans Attorney

 

There is an interesting case before a U.S. Federal District Court in the Las Vegas area. The issue for the judge to decide is whether FBI agents can disconnect a utility service to an abode and then, disguise themselves as repairmen in order to gain entry and covertly search the premises in hopes of finding evidence that might justify the issuance of a search warrant.

The defendants in this case are a group of Chinese high rollers who are accused of running an illegal gambling operation from their Las Vegas villa at Caesar’s Palace Hotel and Casino. The government became suspicious of this group’s activities when they learned that some individuals in the group had been booted from Macau for illegal gambling activities.  However, under the law, suspicion alone is not sufficient grounds for a search warrant.

The attorneys for the defendants in this case filed a motion to suppress asserting that the evidence in this case was obtained illegally when FBI agents disconnected the internet service to the villa, dressed up as internet service technicians, and entered the room claiming to be fixing the Internet connection.  When inside the room, the agents snooped around and took photographs of items they believed to be incriminating.  With this new found information, the agents believed that they had enough to get a search warrant.  To make matters worse, when seeking the search warrant, the agents failed to disclose their sneaky tactics to the magistrate judge.

 

Can FBI agents legally do this sort “repairmen” ploy and get away with it?

 

The Fourth Amendment typically protects us under U.S. jurisdiction (even foreign nationals as in this case) from warrantless searches and seizures. However, when law enforcement is given consent to enter and search, a warrant is not required.

Here’s the problem: If law enforcement agents secretly cut off service to your house and pose as repairmen in order to get inside under false pretenses, are you really still consenting to a search?  I’m of the opinion what you are only consenting to is a search for a cable connection. The attorneys for the accused gamblers say no, and they caution that saying yes would open a Pandora’s box for warrantless searches.

The next time your Internet or phone service goes out, it could actually be an elaborate plot by federal agents trying to gain access to your home.  What do you think of this?

 

 

Of course, I will be following this case. No matter what the district judge decides, I am certain this issue will be appealed to a higher court.

 

 

Elizabeth B. Carpenter is a New Orleans attorney who focuses a significant portion of her practice on criminal defense in federal and state court.

 

 

Facts, Lies and Videotaped Interrogations

 

FACTS, LIES and VIDEOTAPED INTERROGATIONS

 

The Justice Department recently said that the F.B.I. and other federal law enforcement agencies are encouraged to videotape interviews with suspects in most instances. This new policy does not apply in cases where agents need urgent national security-related information that could expose sources or methods or where the interviewed subject request to not be videoed.  This is one of the most significant changes in F.B.I. policy under James B. Comey, who took charge as the bureau’s director in September. Mr. Comey’s predecessor, Robert S. Mueller III, and senior bureau officials had once opposed the video requirement, saying the tapes could reveal agents’ interrogation tactics and discourage witnesses from talking.

The new policy, which goes into effect in July 2014, applies to the F.B.I., the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Marshals Service. These federal law enforcement agencies are also encouraged to use electronic recording in other parts of their investigations, like witness interviews.

The former official, Paul K. Charlton, said federal prosecutors were unnecessarily losing cases because they were unable to present to jurors the most damning evidence available to them: videotaped confessions.

“The most difficult part of proving a crime involves the state of mind, and that is almost always obtained through a statement of the suspect.“

I think this is one of the most significant improvements in the criminal justice system in a long time. Cameras are on neighborhood poles, the corner of big box stores and spread all throughout modern society. Cameras help cops when stops are made. Many Officers now must wear a mini camera on their person. Why would anyone suggest a video-taped interview, hot after a crime would not provide a closer look at the truth, is beyond me.

Of course, I could see how law enforcement would not like the eye in the sky recording their “strategic approach” to obtaining information, confessions and what-have you. Now, the very first time an interviewee asks for a lawyer, the agents can’t just offer the subject a cigarette, cup of bad coffee and hit it again an hour later with some new angle. Now the interview will actually be over. “I want my lawyer…I don’t want to talk anymore!” ACTUALLY means that.

That is Power- and that is good for justice

 

United States Supreme Court Cases To Follow This Week — Criminal Defense Attorney New Orleans

By: Elizabeth B Carpenter

New Orleans Criminal Defense Attorney

 

Elizabeth B. Carpenter, Esq. — New Orleans Premiere Criminal Defense Attorney

 


Serving Clients in Orleans Parish, St. Tammany Parish, St. John Parish, St. James Parish, St. Bernard Parish, St. Charles Parish, Assumption Parish, Tangipahoa Parish, Terrebonne Parish, Plaquemines Parish and Jefferson Parish.

 

The following cases are being argued before the U.S. Supreme Court this week:

 

BAILEY V. UNITED STATES

Can police officers may detain an individual incident to the execution of a search warrant when the individual has left the immediate vicinity of the premises before the warrant is executed.

 

CHAIDEZ V. UNITED STATES

In Padilla v. Kentucky, 130 S. Ct. 1473 (2010), this Court held that criminal defendants receive ineffective assistance of counsel under the Sixth Amendment when their attorneys fail to advise them that pleading guilty to an offense will subject them to deportation. The question presented is whether Padilla applies to persons whose convictions became final before its announcement.

 

FLORIDA V. JARDINES

Is a dog sniff at the front door of a suspected grow house by a trained narcotics detection dog is a Fourth Amendment search requiring probable cause?

 

FLORIDA V. HARRIS

Is an alert by a well-trained narcotics detection dog certified to detect illegal contraband insufficient to establish probable cause for the search of a vehicle?

 

 

Battery of a Police Officer — Attorney New Orleans

New Orleans Battery Defense Attorney

 

Elizabeth B. Carpenter, Esq. — New Orleans Premiere Criminal Defense Attorney

 

Battery Attorney New Orleans


Serving Clients in Orleans Parish, St. Tammany Parish, St. John Parish, St. James Parish, St. Bernard Parish, St. Charles Parish, Assumption Parish, Tangipahoa Parish, Terrebonne Parish, Plaquemines Parish and Jefferson Parish.

 


Battery of a Police Officer — La RS 14:34.2

 Battery of a police officer is a battery committed without the consent of the victim when the offender has reasonable grounds to believe the victim is a police officer acting in the performance of his duty.

For purposes of this Section, “police officer” shall include commissioned police officers, sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, marshals, deputy marshals, correctional officers, constables, wildlife enforcement agents, state park wardens, and probation and parole officers.

For purposes of this Section, “battery of a police officer” includes the use of force or violence upon the person of the police officer by throwing feces, urine, blood, saliva, or any form of human waste by an offender while  the offender is incarcerated by a court of law and is being detained in any jail, prison, correctional facility, juvenile institution, temporary holding center, halfway house, or detention facility.

Penalties

Whoever commits the crime of battery of a police officer shall be fined not more than $500.00 dollars and imprisoned not less than 15 days nor more than 6 months without benefit of suspension of sentence.

If at the time of the commission of the offense the offender is under the jurisdiction and legal custody of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, or is being detained in any jail, prison, correctional facility, juvenile institution, temporary holding center, halfway house, or detention facility, the offender shall be fined not more than $1,000 dollars and imprisoned with or without hard labor without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence for not less than 1 year nor more than  5 years.  Such sentence shall be consecutive to any other sentence imposed for violation of the provisions of any state criminal law.

If the battery produces an injury that requires medical attention, the offender shall be fined not more than $1,000.00 dollars or imprisoned with or without hard labor for not less than 1 year nor more than 5 years, or both.  At least 30 days of the sentence imposed shall be served without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.

 

Can the Police Search My Car?

Drug Possession Distribution Attorney Louisiana


Elizabeth B. Carpenter, Esq. — New Orleans Criminal Defense Attorney
  

 

 

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects citizens against unreasonable searches. The amendment applies to government agents, like police officers. It does not apply to searches by private individuals. This protection extends to automobile searches, but it is not absolute. However, if a court finds that evidence was taken during an unlawful vehicle search, the court will not allow the prosecution to use that evidence.

 

Searches and Your Expectation of Privacy

A “search” can occur when a governmental agent intrudes in an area where you have a “reasonable expectation of privacy.” Deciding a “reasonable expectation of privacy” involves two questions. First, did you have an actual – meaning subjective or in your own mind – expectation of privacy? Second, would the subjective expectation of privacy be reasonable to an objective, uninvolved person?

 

Consent to Search

In certain situations, you may refuse to let a governmental agent search your vehicle. The agent is not required to inform you of your right to refuse. If you agree to the search, it must be voluntary – meaning you weren’t under pressure to comply. You also have the right to limit where the agent can search – the trunk but not the glove box, for example. You are free to change your mind at any time, even after the search has started.

 

Probable Cause to Search

A government agent with probable cause can search your car without you agreeing. Probable cause means a reason to believe the car more than likely contains evidence related to a crime. A routine traffic stop can develop into probable cause to search the vehicle. After pulling a car over for a traffic violation, a police officer might notice that the driver matches the description of someone suspected of stealing parts from automobiles. The officer also notices automobile parts in the back seat. These additional facts most likely create probable cause for the police officer to search the vehicle.

 

Search Incident to Lawful Arrest

When a police officer makes a lawful arrest, the officer may search not only the arrested person but also the area immediately around the arrested person – like the car the person was traveling in just before the arrest. However, this only applies if the person is arrested. If the driver is only given a traffic ticket, the police officer cannot search the vehicle. If a police officer has the choice to either issue a ticket or make an arrest, the officer must make the arrest in order to search the car.

 

The law surrounding searches of vehicles is complicated. Plus, the facts of each case are unique.

 

“The goal of every drug crime case is to not be convicted”

 

Elizabeth B. Carpenter, Esq. — New Orleans Criminal Lawyer

 

Elizabeth B Carpenter Law is one of the premiers law firms for Drug Crime defense.  We have defended almost every type of Drug Crime imaginable in South Louisiana.  When approaching a Drug Case, the first issues we examine are the client’s constitutional rights against unlawful search and seizure:

  • Did the police have the right to pull our client over?,

 

  • Did the police have the right to search our client’s home?,

 

  • Did the police have the right to search out client’s car?

 

Our first goal is to try to exclude / suppress any and all evidence of a drug crime.  If the evidence is suppressed, the state cannot use the evidence to convict our client.  The goal in every drug crime case is to not be convicted.

If you have been arrested for Drug Possession, contact our office for a consultation.  We want to protect your rights!

 

 

Calculate Your Blood Alcohol Content — BAC Calculator

New Orleans DWI DUI Attorney 

 
Elizabeth B. Carpenter, Esq. —  DWI DUI Attorney New Orleans 

 

Serving DWI DUI Clients In Metairie, Kenner, Gretna, New Orleans, LaPlace, Hammond, Mandeville and Covington!

 

Legislators and law enforcement have really been cracking down on DWI / DUI in Louisiana.  It is quite frightening because: 1.) We are a State that likes to enjoy our cocktails and 2.) When you do the math, it is easy to see how little alcohol is necessary to be considered legally intoxicated.  All the officer needs is sufficient probable cause to pull you over.

 

 
Check out the BAC Calculator

 

ABOUT ATTORNEY ELIZABETH B. CARPENTER

Elizabeth B. Carpenter has completed courses on NHTSA DWI Detection and Field Sobriety Testing and the breath testing machine known as the Intoxilyzer 5000. These are the same courses law enforcement must take when training. This level of dedication to her practice helps her challenge the common errors that police officers make during a DWI arrest.

For more information about attorney Elizabeth B. Carpenter see her criminal defense website and her New Orleans Criminal Defense Attorney Blog. Ms. Carpenter is a skilled criminal attorney who defends against DWI chargesdomestic violence chargesDrug Crime, and sex crimes, among others in the New Orleans metro area. Elizabeth B. Carpenter Law can also be followed on Facebook.

Elizabeth B. Carpenter, Esq. is an experienced New Orleans criminal defense attorney. She received her Juris Doctorate from Loyola University Law School, and is a member and supporter of theLouisiana State Bar Association, Louisiana Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers, and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Her law offices have successfully represented clients in Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines, St. John, St. Tammany and St. Charles Parishes. Carpenter’s mission is to provide clients with exceptional, personalized, and professional service.

 

 

 

Aggravated Assault with a Motor Vehicle — Louisiana

New Orleans Assault Criminal Defense Attorney

 

Elizabeth B. Carpenter, Esq. — New Orleans Premiere Criminal Defense Attorney


Serving Clients in Orleans Parish, St. Tammany Parish, St. John Parish, St. James Parish, St. Bernard Parish, St. Charles Parish, Assumption Parish, Tangipahoa Parish, Terrebonne Parish, Plaquemines Parish and Jefferson Parish.

 

 

Aggravated Assault with a Motor Vehicle Upon a Peace Officer — La RS 14:37.6

A.  Aggravated assault with a motor vehicle upon a peace officer is an assault committed with a motor vehicle upon a peace officer acting in the course and scope of his duties.

B.  For the purposes of this Section:

(1)  “Motor vehicle” shall include any motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or other means of conveyance.

(2)  “Peace officer” shall have the same meaning as defined in R.S. 40:2402.

C.  Whoever commits the crime of aggravated assault with a motor vehicle upon a peace officer shall be fined not more than five thousand dollars, imprisoned with or without hard labor for not less than one year nor more than ten years, or both.

Unlawful use of a Laser on a Police Officer — Louisiana

New Orleans Criminal Defense Attorney

 

Elizabeth B. Carpenter, Esq. — New Orleans Premiere Criminal Defense Attorney


Serving Clients in Orleans Parish, St. Tammany Parish, St. John Parish, St. James Parish, St. Bernard Parish, St. Charles Parish, Assumption Parish, Tangipahoa Parish, Terrebonne Parish, Plaquemines Parish and Jefferson Parish.

 

 

Unlawful use of a Laser on a Police Officer — La RS 14:37.3

Unlawful use of a laser on a police officer is the intentional projection of a laser on or at a police officer without consent of the officer when the offender has reasonable grounds to believe the officer is a police officer acting in the performance of his duty and that the officer will be injured, intimidated, or placed in fear of bodily harm.

Whoever commits the crime of unlawful use of a laser on a police officer shall be fined not more than $500.00 dollars or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both.

 
 

Aiding and Abetting the Fraudulent Portrayal of a Law Enforcement Officer or Firefighter — Louisiana

New Orleans Criminal Defense Attorney

 

Elizabeth B. Carpenter, Esq. — New Orleans Premiere Criminal Defense Attorney


Serving Clients in Orleans Parish, St. Tammany Parish, St. John Parish, St. James Parish, St. Bernard Parish, St. Charles Parish, Assumption Parish, Tangipahoa Parish, Terrebonne Parish, Plaquemines Parish and Jefferson Parish.

 

Aiding and Abetting the Fraudulent Portrayal of a Law Enforcement Officer or Firefighter — La RS 14:112.3

A.  Aiding and abetting the fraudulent portrayal of a law enforcement officer or firefighter is the inciting, soliciting, urging, encouraging, exhorting, instigating, or assisting any other person to commit the crime of fraudulent portrayal of a law enforcement officer or firefighter.  For purposes of this Section, “law enforcement officer or firefighter” shall have the same meaning as provided in R.S. 14:112.2.

B.  Whoever commits the crime of aiding and abetting the fraudulent portrayal of a law enforcement officer or firefighter shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.

Fraudulent Portrayal of a Law Enforcement Officer or Firefighter — Louisiana

New Orleans Criminal Defense Attorney

 

Elizabeth B. Carpenter, Esq. — New Orleans Premiere Criminal Defense Attorney


Serving Clients in Orleans Parish, St. Tammany Parish, St. John Parish, St. James Parish, St. Bernard Parish, St. Charles Parish, Assumption Parish, Tangipahoa Parish, Terrebonne Parish, Plaquemines Parish and Jefferson Parish.

 

Fraudulent Portrayal of a Law Enforcement Officer or Firefighter — 14:112.2

Fraudulent portrayal of a law enforcement officer or firefighter is the impersonation of any law enforcement officer or firefighter for the purpose of obtaining access to a public building, facility, or service.  The fraudulent portrayal includes but is not limited to any of the following:

(1)  Portraying or impersonating a law enforcement officer or firefighter by any means.

(2)  Possessing, without authority, any uniform or badge by which a law enforcement officer or firefighter is identified.

(3)  Performing any act purporting to be official while portraying a law enforcement officer or firefighter.

(4)  Making, altering, possessing, or using a false document or document containing false statements which purports to be a training program certificate or in-service training certificate or other documentation issued by the Council on Peace Officer Standards and Training, pursuant to R.S. 40:2405, which certifies the peace officer has successfully completed the requirements necessary to exercise his authority as a peace officer.

(5)  Making, altering, possessing, or using any false documents or credentials which purport to identify the person as a law enforcement officer or firefighter.

For the purposes of this Section, “law enforcement officer or firefighter” shall include police officers, sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, marshals, deputy marshals, correctional officers, constables, wildlife enforcement agents, state park wardens, firemen, and probation and parole officers.

 “Access to a public building, facility, or service” includes but is not limited to the following:

(1)  Free and unhampered passage on and over toll bridges and ferries in this state.

(2)  Free passage on and over the Crescent City Connection Bridge at New Orleans.

(3)  Free passage on any tollway as defined in R.S. 48:2021(17).

(4)  Free parking at any parking facility owned by the state or any of its political subdivisions.

(5)  Free admission or reduced price admission to any entertainment, cultural, or sporting event.

Whoever commits the crime of fraudulent portrayal of a law enforcement officer or firefighter shall be fined not more than $1,000.00 dollars or imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than 2 years, or both.

Recent Comments