Schwartz & Powell

Articles in "Drug Crime"

Fourth Amendment Stripped Naked

by Steven D. Powell Attorney at Law

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution used to prohibit unreasonable search and seizures. The present United States Supreme Court seems not to understand this fundamental principle of constitutional and procedural criminal law.

Misdemeanor Vehicular Manslaughter: " Infracticide"

by Steven D. Powell Attorney at Law

Almost if not all licensed drivers in the State of California and Ventura have committed a variety of minor Vehicle Code infractions. These violations range from illegal lane changes, speeding a few miles over the speed limit, rolling through a stop sign in the fabled “California stop,” to violations such as failure to yield, passing unlawfully and a big fine violation of blocking an intersection while making a left hand turn. Ordinarily, if one is guilty of these offenses, one pays a fine and suffers a few points added to his or her license for DMV purposes. There is no probation, jail or criminal fine above that for the ticket itself. These offenses are infractions of interest to DMV, your insurer, your employer if you drive as part of your job.

U.S. Supreme Court : No GPS Tracking Without Warrant

by Steven D. Powell Attorney at Law

The United States Supreme Court recently said warrantless GPS tracking of a cocaine dealer is a violation of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure. They reversed his conviction because in this drug case the motion to suppress evidence properly should have been granted. The evidence was obtained through secretly tracking the dealer with a GPS device law enforcement planted under the dealer’s automobile. The court in U.S. v. Jones decided 9-0 that GPS tracking requires a warrant.

“I Don’t Want to Talk”: Police Interrogation

by Steven D. Powell Attorney at Law

Most people believe their rights under the Fifth Amendment to remain silent and not allow police interrogation must be respected by law enforcement. After all, the Fifth Amendment is the law so why would law enforcement try to break the law by violating Miranda? That doesn’t make good common sense. Don’t we want to ensure the police don’t browbeat citizens suspected of criminal conduct? Don’t the police want to obey the law in conducting their business?