This week on The Writer's Detective Bureau, sanctuary, off-sites, and the day after. I'm Adam Richardson, and this is the Writer's Detective Bureau. Welcome to episode number 75 of the Writer's Detective Bureau, the podcast dedicated to helping authors and screenwriters write professional quality crime related fiction. This week I'm answering your questions about suspects seeking sanctuary in a church, offsite offices, and what a homicide scene looks like the day after the police leave.
But first, I need to thank Gold Shield Patreon's Debra Dunbar from debradunbar.com, C.C. Jameson from ccjameson.com, Larry Keeton, Vicki Tharp of vickitharp.com, Chrysann, Larry Darter, Natalie Barelli of nataliebarelli.com, and Craig Kingsman of craigkingsman.com for their support. I also want to send a huge thank you to my coffee club patreons. You can find links to all of the writers supporting this episode in the show notes at writersdetective.com/75. And I've had a few patreons ask about upping their coffee club pledge to a $10 a month level. So this week I will be introducing the silver cufflink patreonage tier at $10 per month. I'm not sure what perks are going to be included with that yet, but I want to thank you for your interest. 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 record this on Saturday, January 18th, 2020, it's the first day of Sergeant Patrick O'Donnell's retirement from the police force in the state of Wisconsin. I'm not going to name the department Patrick, but you may know Patrick as the author of Cops and Writers, and the admin of the Facebook group under the same name. So if you don't know him yet, be sure to check out his book Cops and Writers from the Academy to the Street. Patrick has quickly become a great friend. And I just want to take a moment and say congratulations on retirement buddy. You really deserve it.
When a law enforcement officer has an arrest warrant for a person, they're allowed to enter that person's home during daylight hours to arrest the person. And when they do that, they do not need a separate search warrant to enter the home to serve that arrest warrant. Generally, any contraband that they find in plain view is seizable, because the officers had a legal right to be in the home. And since the officers do not have a search warrant, they can't go looking for additional evidence. They can however, use whatever is in plain view to develop probable cause to obtain a search warrant.
So if I have an arrest warrant for Joe, and I go into Joe's apartment, and I find a pile of cocaine on the coffee table with a digital scale and a box of those tiny little Ziploc baggies, I can seize those items. And more importantly, I can write a search warrant based upon that evidence, and my training and experience that those items are indicative of drug sales going on in that location. So it's only once I get that search warrant signed that I can start looking in drawers and all the other nooks and crannies of the apartment, but not before.
Okay, so let's go back to Joe and the arrest warrant with no search warrant. I go to Joe's home to serve the arrest warrant, but he's not there. Low and behold, I see Joe in his next door neighbor's apartment through the window or something. And let's say this apartment belongs to Mike. Am I allowed to go into Mike's apartment to arrest Joe? I could of course knock on the door and ask Mike for consent to come into his apartment, but Mike and Joe are friends, and Mike doesn't answer the door, or he looks through the people and says, "You can't come in." Am I allowed to go into Mike's apartment to arrest Joe?
Now five minutes ago, I legally went into Joe's apartment, literally one door over without a search warrant to arrest Joe. Well, the simple answer is no, not yet, because Mike's fourth amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure is what's at play here. Sure, I can try to convince Mike with the whole harboring a wanted person thing... Continue reading...
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