Search And Seizure Laws In New York

What is the exclusionary rule

                     Aspects of the Exclusionary rule

Search and seizure is a procedure wherein the investigators are permitted to search a person, paperwork or even a property in order to acquire evidence that may be a relevant to particular crime; it also authorizes them to seize any pertinent evidence to produce the same in court. Even though it was introduced as an instrument to assist in seeking out the truth, there have been instances wherein search and seizure was conducted unreasonably and without a warrant. For this reason, the Fourth Amendment of the Federal Constitution brought with it certain rules to protect the U.S. citizens against unreasonable search and seizure.

Legitimate expectation of privacy

The New York state follows the ‘legitimate expectation of privacy’ principle. Here, the Fourth Amendment protects the U.S. citizens from illegal search and seizure that is conducted in two conditions- when the individual himself demands for his right to privacy; and second when the public acknowledges that his expectation is a reasonable one. This may of course be subjected to interpretation and therefore state courts are granted fluidity to an extent while making decisions.

What is the exclusionary rule

The exclusionary rule, passed in 1961 by the U.S. Supreme Court, is a legal principle that prohibits using any evidence in court that was obtained through illegal search and seizure. This law is applicable to all federal as well as state rulings. In New York State, investigators and police officers should have a warrant by a court judge in order to conduct a search and they are required to swear under oath to conduct all search and seizures as outlined by the law. The exclusionary rule prohibits any evidence that was obtained without a search warrant even if the evidence convicts the defendant in the crime.

Additional protection

Fourth Amendment

                     Exclusionary rule and evidences

Even though the Fourth Amendment laws provide sufficient protection against unreasonable search and seizure for all citizens of U.S., in certain types of crimes, individual States are allowed to provide extra protection measures in their bill of rights. This way, the citizens are protected from unreasonable interception of telegraph and telephone communications.

These are some aspects regarding the search and  seizure laws in New York. While fighting cases against illegal search and seizure, it is important that you understand what is the exclusionary rule and how it may be applicable in your case. For more details on this rule, check online legal resources or consult a lawyer who has experience dealing with similar cases.

How Effective Is the Enforcement Of The Fourth Amendment – The Exclusionary Rule?

What is the exclusionary rule

                Why exclusionary rule is important

Just dig a little into history and you would find that the Fourth Amendment (in whatever form it was then) had not been appreciated much for a very long time. It is quite interesting to note that evidences gathered by federal agents in violation of the same were considered admissible during those days. This meant that an investigating officer could really knock down the door and seize evidence breaking ones’ right to privacy in the process! Thank goodness for the exclusionary principle!

What is the exclusionary rule?

The main purpose of the exclusionary rule was to deter the police and federal agents from misconduct and abuse of power. With the introduction of this rule, it became possible for defendants to challenge the admissibility of evidence that were brought against them by the prosecution. The main objective of the exclusionary rule is to protect people’s right to be free from unauthorized seizures and unreasonable searches.

Enforcing the exclusionary rule

If the court finds that the investigating officer or the federal agent has committed an offense by including illegitimate evidence, or collecting evidences to cook up a case against a person, then the court has the power to initiate punitive actions against them. They will be subjected to prosecution and can be punished if found guilty.

However, rather than taking the case as a major offense, they are often handled as internal issues of the department. In addition to this, investigating officers who are found of violating a person’s Fourth Amendment rights could be sued for damages by the accused.

Fourth amendment

          Enforcing the exclusionary rule

In the absence of the exclusionary rule, investigating agencies could turn the case against a person through illegally obtained evidence, many of which may be circumstantial. If the defendant does not argue that the evidence was not obtained illegally, chances are that the court may overlook the point and proceed with the prosecution anyway. However, these charges could also be dropped if the defendant discovers this piece of information at a later stage. This means that a convicted person who may be serving time could receive a pardon and cut short his sentence if the court is convinced that the evidence was obtained without legal basis.

Still got a question as what is the exclusionary rule? You may find related topics about exclusionary rule and its various aspects on different forums and sites online. Browse online to know more on this.

Punitive Damages And Insurance Policies

What is punitive damages

Punitive damages explained

Punitive damages are awarded to a plaintiff in the event that the court deems the actions of the defendant to have been highly dangerous. If these are decided to have been of a violent nature, the court has the authority to award punitive damages, which the defendant must pay. These damages are not meant to cover the losses suffered by the victim, but rather to punish the defendant. So, what is punitive damages? Are they just a sort of punishment that the court inflicts on the defendants? What is the role of insurance companies when it comes to paying the punitive damages? These are the questions we need answers to, and those are briefly explained below.

What is punitive damages?

The details mentioned above will surely give you an idea regarding punitive damages. These damages are intended as a punishment, and also to serve as a warning to others who are preparing to engage in activities that are deemed dangerous to the general public.

Liability insurance policy

If a negligent action from your part was to cause an accident resulting in the injury of another person, then with the help of a liability insurance policy, you will be able to cover the costs incurred in such a situation. It should be noted that, the insurance company is needed to pay off the damages only if the injury to the victim happened as a result of a negligent action. If the insurance company finds out that the incident was intentional, then they are not liable to pay for your damages. The company is also liable to pay for any legal costs, if any, in the event of an accident.

Liability insurance policy

         what are punitive damages?

Cover for punitive damages

Whether the insurance policy covers the punitive damages or not will depend on the state in which you have applied for the insurance cover. In most states, the insurance policy does not cover for the punitive damages and if you are to pay off any punitive damages, you will not be able to depend on the insurance policy.

Punitive damages are usually awarded in cases where the defendant is found guilty of driving under the influence, or in a hit and run case. In such cases, the defendant might have to pay off the punitive damages personally.

These are some of the details regarding punitive damages and insurance policies. While insurance policies will help in paying off damages, in situations where you have to pay punitive damages, they might not be of help.

Facts About No Win-No Fee Agreement

No win no fee

                      What is no win no fee

‘No win no fee’ has now become a popular term because of its association with injury claims. In U.S, there are millions of people who sustain injuries due to accidents. But surprisingly, only a third is found to make use of compensation claims. There could be mainly two reasons behind this – either they are completely ignorant of this particular agreement or they are ill-informed about it.

So what does it actually entail?

There is a common misconception among the people when it comes to no win-no fee attorneys. Does it mean that you don’t have to pay anything if you don’t win your case? Of course, there may be a few firms which claim you don’t need to pay anything if you don’t win. In fact, this isn’t true. The fact is that you don’t have to pay your solicitor’s fees if you lose your claim.  Yet, you may be liable to pay your opponent’s costs, like his solicitor’s fees and other costs. These costs usually include court fees, medical report fees, ‘after-the-event’ insurance etc. Often you may be required to pay such costs upfront.

Is there a way to avoid the opponent’s costs in this agreement?

There is another option availing which you don’t have to pay a single penny whether you win or lose your claim. This is possible when you claim for compensation through ‘The Claims Solicitors’. Here ‘after-the-event’ insurance is taken out on your behalf which will usually cover your opponent’s court fees, as well as yours and your opponent’s costs.

Compensation claim

                 No win no fee compensation claim

No win no fee is a common term used for its lesser known term called Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). When you accept this agreement, you are entitling your personal injury lawyer for a success fee for a successful claim. Usually your solicitor receives his share from the compensation award or it will be paid by the opponent. When the claim is made through The Claims Solicitors and you win the same, it will be the responsibility of the other party to pay your solicitor’s success fees, which will guarantee you a 100% compensation award.

Make use of such legal benefits which takes way much of the risks associated with injury claims. Also keep in mind that it will be wise to check with your solicitor before you decide to go ahead with the agreement.

Exclusionary Rule: The Debate

WWhat is the exclusionary rule

Exclusionary rule or the Fourth Amendment

Everyone needs to know what is the exclusionary rule. It is one of the most important principles of freedom and a guardian against abuse of power by investigation agencies. The rule bars any evidence that has not been gathered by following the procedures set in place to ensure that the rights of citizens would not be violated. This is also referred to as the Fourth Amendment.

History

The history of the rule goes all the way back to the English Court. An eminent jurist of the time, Lord Chief Justice Mansfield declared that there ought to be some doubt in cases of self incrimination in criminal cases where the confession could in all likelihood have been coerced out of the subject. With this view in mind, many cases of that time saw confessions that were not made in the presence of a magistrate as inadmissible. The practice was however limited as some courts did allow such evidences to be presented before them.

The U.S. Bill of Rights however, guaranteed rights to all its citizens and this included protection from undue police action. The exclusionary rule simply reiterates this assurance. However, the Fourth Amendment alone was not enough to guarantee that it applied to every court. This is because the US followed a Federal structure and because of this, not all states agreed to the exclusionary rule. It took another amendment, the fourteenth to ensure that the rule applied throughout the country.

On-going discussions

Although it has certainly been a very long time since the rule had been introduced as a law, debates have been raging as to whether the rule affected efficiency. The Pro-exclusionary rule advocates argued that the rule guarded against police incursion into an individual’s privacy. It also apparently, made sure that the investigating officers “behaved”.

Police Action

Exclusionary rule protects the Rights of citizens

Those are strong arguments. Unfortunately, the case against the role is just as strong and therein lays the problem. Anti-exclusionary rule advocates argue that the rule holds back police officers from gathering evidence from the high and mighty. So, while the rule does not protect the smaller peddlers/criminals as they do not have the means of acting swiftly, the real perpetrators would escape. Surprise after all, is an important weapon in the fight against criminals.

So you see, the nuances of the legal system are very complex. What is the exclusionary rule and other terms can be further understood by following prominent case files.

Know What Is ‘No Win No Fee’

No win no fee

What is no win no fee

For those who would like to know what this “no win no fee” actually means, here is the answer. It is a mutual agreement made between the client and the solicitor. This is mainly associated with personal injury claims. It is a common term used for the lesser known term of Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). The basic idea behind this agreement is that you are not required to pay for your solicitor for the time he spent on court unless you win your lawsuit. You cannot expect this privilege for every lawsuit as there are certain conditions to be met for this agreement to take place. When such an agreement comes into place, the solicitor is supposed to provide you with information at various stages of the case. With this agreement being into effect, the legal system for getting compensation has leveled to a great extent for all, rich and poor.

Pros and Cons of CFA

Before you dive in for this option, it’s good to understand certain facts about this CFA agreement. This agreement has both advantages and disadvantages for both the client and the lawyer. The advantage for the client is that he doesn’t have to pay in advance for lawyer’s time he spends in court. This greatly reduces much of risk involved in filing a lawsuit in court. The disadvantage for the client is that often the solicitor’s fee is one third of the recovery. So as the case proceedings stretch more than expected, the amount will be much higher. When it comes to the lawyer, the effects are just the opposite. He gets nothing for the time he spent on court if he loses the case. But if he wins it, he might get more for his time he had spent than he would have got on an hourly rate.

Conditional Fee Agreement

pros and cons of no win no fee

Know some more facts about no win no fee

If the solicitor is able to win the lawsuit, the solicitor is entitled to get his fee which is usually a success fee from the opposing party. Often this opposing party will be insurance companies as the lawsuits are associated with personal injury cases. But if you lose your case, you may be liable to pay for the opposing parties costs too. So in order to cover such expenses, your solicitor should arrange an “After Event” insurance which will normally cover the risk for the premium which you or your solicitor might need to pay.

So, that’s all for you folks today.

Some Drawbacks And Advantages Of Strict Liability

Laws of strict liability

     Strict liability examples explained

Manufacturers are responsible for the damages caused by their products. The persons who were at the receiving end of the damages or injuries caused by the product have grounds to file charges against the individuals who designed or produced the goods. It needs to be noted that the plaintiff may receive monetary settlements even if the manufacturers are able to prove that they exercised all possible care during production and distribution. The laws of strict liability are not applicable in cases of private sales, and they can only be enforced if the businesses are involved in the selling or leasing of products.

Not all the states in the country have strict liability laws, only a few do, but in these, these laws are not the same. They vary from state to state, taking into consideration the unique features of those states. Some strict liability examples are mentioned here, and these will help you to understand the law better.

Sharing of damages

If a product is found to have caused any injury or damages, then the affected individuals can file a case against the manufacturers in a court of law. The manufacturers have some advantage in these situations, as in most cases they are not required to pay the damages alone. They can involve all the parties in the chain of distribution of the product, taking the strain off the settlement. The company manufacturing the products can share the responsibility of paying the damages with parties including retailers, manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers. Before the company can involve the members of the chain of distribution, they must prove in the court that the latter were also negligent in their duties. It also needs to be noted that those businesses that are contracted by the government are usually exempt from paying strict liability damages.

Strict liability examples depicting advantages for consumers

Strict liability examples

                               Strict liability laws

Strict liability laws ensure that the consumers receive only premium quality goods from the manufacturers, and that any company trying to con the consumers is rightly punished. A consumer or a user is someone who activity or passively enjoys the benefits of a product, and if that person gets injured in the process, then they can sue for property and personal damages.

Strict liability laws ensure the presence of only high quality products in the market. Such laws are necessary to ensure that those who flood the market with low quality products are rightly punished.

The Impact Of Exclusionary Rule On Criminal Cases

What is the Exclusionary Rule

                       Exclusionary Rule explained

Most of the criminal cases that have been tried in the courts in the recent past have been affected by the Exclusionary Rule. What is the Exclusionary Rule, anyway? Why does it have an adverse effect on some of the cases that are tried in a court of law? The answers for all these questions are given below.

What is the Exclusionary Rule?

The Exclusionary Rule exists to guard the citizens from illegal searches and seizures conducted by the police or other government agencies. With the help of this rule, the defendant can stop the prosecution from using in a litigation the evidence collected through illegal searches or seizures. The main purpose of this rule was to uphold the constitutional rights of the citizens, and to prevent the police from resorting to illegal methods to access the evidence.

There are, of course, some downsides to this rule. If the evidence collected by the police turned out to be genuine, the defendant would not be punished by the court, if the defendant was able to prove that it was collected through an illegal search.

Source of the Exclusionary Rule

The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution is the source of the Exclusionary Rule. The Fourth Amendment makes it clear that, protection of a person’s house, documents and personal effects is guaranteed against illegal searches and seizures. Essentially, to search the premises of a person, proper warrant is required which cannot be issued without a proper cause. If the police or any other government agency violates the Fourth Amendment, the Exclusionary Rule will come to the help of the person on whose premises the illegal search was conducted.

The “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine

Court of law

                      Brief note on Exclusionary Rule

The “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine states that all the evidence that was obtained because of evidence which was obtained as a result of an illegal search, is to be excluded from use in a courtroom. Thus, if the police manage to illegally obtain evidence by violating the Fourth Amendment, then all the evidence consequently obtained will be excluded in a court of law.

The impact of the Exclusionary Rule in the criminal cases is overwhelming. If the police managed to find discriminating evidence against the defendant, but were to disregard protocol, the prosecution would not be able to use it against the defendant based on the ground that the evidence was illegally obtained.

Some Information On Civil Procedure For Punitive Damages

What is punitive damages

               Civil procedure for punitive damages

Punitive damages are damages that are awarded by the court if it feels that the punishment given to the defendant was not enough. These may be monetary damages that would be awarded on top of the compensation damages that have already been awarded. These damages are meant as a punishment for the defendants and hence the name ‘punitive’.

So, what is punitive damages? This punishment is usually given by the court of law as a sort of warning so that it will deter other people from engaging in such anti-social activities. It is a way of punishing the culprit while also sending a message to the other people, so that they will refrain from involving in such activities.

What is punitive damages?

The term punitive damages have already been discussed in brief in the previous paragraph. More on the subject of punitive damages has been given below.

If persons contesting a civil lawsuit are not from the same state and the money in question is more than $75000, then the lawsuit cannot be conducted in a state court. In cases were the state law forms the basis of the civil lawsuit that the persons are contesting, there exists a rule that says that such lawsuits must be conducted in state courts. Therefore, such lawsuits are required to be contested in federal courts.

If the defendants do not plead for an exorbitant amount of money as compensatory or punitive damages, the plaintiffs will get a positive judgment from the federal courts. For the federal court to reach such a decision regarding punitive damages, it must be established by the plaintiffs in the court that the punitive damages that they are demanding are within reasonable limits.

Remittitur

Court of law

                        More on punitive damages

The judge holds the right to alter the decision made by the jury in cases was the punitive damages are involved. This power of the judge is termed as remittitur. In such cases, the judge can reduce the amount of punitive damages awarded by a jury and even has the power to even order a new trial. Therefore, even if the jury was to award to award punitive damages, the judge can override those decisions and reduce the amount of damages.

These are some details regarding punitive damages that are awarded in certain cases. These damages, as a form of punishment have been realized as an effective way of ensuring that people will keep away from engaging in anti-social activities.

Different Legal Aspects Of The Fourth Amendment

What is the exclusionary rule

Exclusionary rule and Rights of                          suspect

What is the exclusionary rule? Does it have anything to do with the Fourth Amendment? These are some of the most frequently asked questions in law websites. Not many people are aware of the link between the exclusionary rule and the Fourth Amendment which protects the interests of individuals. Another legal aspect included in the Fourth Amendment is the “Right of Suspects.” This is meant to protect the interest of the defendants or the people who are brought under custody. This article will give you a brief insight into the above mentioned legal issues concerning exclusionary rule.

What is the exclusionary rule?

The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States places  great value to the privacy of the citizens and seeks to protect it. It protects the people’s interest against all unauthorized and illegal searches. The “unauthorized and illegal search” scenario can be better understood with the help of an example. Suppose a person is a suspect of a crime, such as theft. On the grounds that the particular individual is a suspect, the police officials can conduct a raid or search in the house of the so called “suspect’. The raids are permissible only with a search warrant. The search operations conducted without valid search warrants is unlawful. This is where the exclusionary rule comes into play. The contraband or any evidence seized through such a search operation is not valid under the law. The particular piece of evidence cannot be produced against the suspect in the court. Under legal terms the contraband is said to be “suppressed”.

Rights of suspect

This is another aspect of the Fourth Amendment Law that safeguards the interest of the suspects or the defendants. This is not a concession offered by the law, but is the right of every citizen. There are different scenarios that connect with the Rights of Suspects. Here are some of them.

  • Witness of the suspect- the suspect or the individual who is alleged to have involved in a crime, can never be a witness for the same. This right is applicable only when the suspect is brought under custody.

    Issues concerning exclusionary rule

    Fourth Amendment of the Constitution

  • Another important Right of Suspect is the “Right to an attorney” or the “Right to Counsel”. The suspect can avail the service of an attorney whenever he/she likes to have it.

The issues connected with the “Rights of Suspect” can be a bit complicated. In order to understand the essence of the same it requires a detailed study of the Fourth Amendment.

This article will let you know more about some of the legal aspects that come under the Fourth Ammendment.