This week on the Writer's Detective Bureau. Items in Evidence, Assessing Urgency, and Police Radio Encryption. I'm Adam Richardson and this is the Writer's Detective Bureau.
Happy new year. Happy 2020 welcome to episode number 73 of the Writer's Detective Bureau. The podcast still dedicated to helping authors and screenwriters write professional quality crime related fiction. And this week I'm answering your questions about whether a search warrant is needed to seize evidence from another police agencies' evidence room, assessing urgency and the realities of police radios being encrypted. But first I need to thank my gold shield patrons, Debra Dunbar from debradunbar.com. C.C. Jameson from ccjameson.com. Larry Keeton, Vicki Tharp at vickitharp.com. Chrysann, Larry Darter, Natalie Barelli of nataliebarelli.com and Craig Kingsman of craigkingsman.com for their support and also a huge thank you as always to my coffee club patrons. You can find links to all of the writers supporting this episode in the show notes at writersdetective.com/73 and to learn about setting up your own Patreon account for your author business, or to support the show for as little as $2 per month, visit writersdetective.com/patreon P. A. T. R. E. O. N.
As I'm recording this Australia is fighting enormous brush fires right now. As a longtime resident and first responder in Southern California, I know firsthand how devastating these wildfires can be and the size of the burn in Australia is unprecedented, far beyond anything I've seen in California. So please join me in donating directly to the front lines where help is needed most. I've listed several agencies you can donate to, whether it's a specific fire service supporting animal rescue efforts or the relief efforts through Red Cross or Salvation Army. All of those links are in the show notes at writersdetective.com/73 and if you can't donate money right now, you can help spread the word through your own social media channels. I know I have listeners and even some patrons in new South Wales, so please know that we're thinking about you all and we're doing our best to help you guys.
This week's first question comes from Craig Kingsman of craigkingsman.com. Hey Adam, good to hear you're feeling better. Thank you very much. The sickness over the holiday was not fun. I have a followup question on the current podcast. If police department A needs to obtain evidence that police department B has in their possession, do they need a warrant or is it sufficient that department B already had a warrant to collect it? What process and paperwork would be needed? Would it be different if the two departments are in different States? What if the feds are one of the departments and the local PD is the other? Thanks for the question, Craig.
In the United States search warrants are, as we've talked about many times, the way government is able to legally search a location based upon the framework laid out in the fourth amendment to the United States Constitution, which says, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized."
So the relationship the fourth amendment is talking about is the one between the people and the government. So from a constitutional standpoint, the government has already legally seized the evidence. Since your scenario you mentioned that the police department B had a search warrant when they seized the evidence. So no, a second search warrant would not be needed as we're not talking about trying to seize evidence from a private person. As for the paperwork, there would certainly be a chain of custody form to sign, which is an official record of who had the evidence and when. And then of course there would also be various reports in both agencies, normal cases that would document the transfer from one agency to the other, and there'd be an explanation in the report as to why this was a logical or needed thing to do. All those T's would be crossed and I's dotted because defense attorneys will and rightly so, scrutinize anything that might remotely appear to be evidence tampering... Continue reading...
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