Criminal Procedure

Basic is the rule that a warrantless arrest carried out by a police officer is reasonable if there is a probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed by the person arrested (The Free Dictionary, 2010). Probable cause is basically the reasonable and personal belief of the police officer that the person to be arrested is guilty of some crime. In the given problem, however, it is apparent that the arrest made by the police officers to Jerry was not reasonable as the indispensable element of probable cause was absent. The officers arrested Jerry merely on the basis of Jerrys unique style of dress and his act of doing electric slide to heavy metal music, which are both not punishable by law. Accordingly, because of the exclusionary rule, which mandates evidence obtained from illegal arrest must be excluded from trial as it is considered a fruit of the poisonous tree, the fake drivers license obtained by the police officers from their ensuing search cannot be used in criminally charging Jerry (The Free Dictionary, 2010). Therefore, the State will have problems with the prosecution of this matter.

Although the police officers are authorized to confiscate the fake drivers license of Jerry, yet because of the illegality of the arrest Jerry can aver that the said license is inadmissible as evidence against him in the criminal proceeding. The fundamental rule is that any evidence obtained by the police officers from illegal arrest, or unreasonable search must be excluded from trial. This principle is guaranteed by no less than the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, and by several U.S. Supreme Court decisions. Therefore, because the privacy of Jerry was unlawfully invaded, and he was illegally arrested, he can avail several tort actions, such as administrative, civil and criminal actions, against the erring police officers.


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