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Supreme Court Limits Law Enforcement's Power to Detain When Executing a Search Warrant

The United States Supreme Court has limited who can be legally detained when law enforcement officers execute a search warrant. A Supreme Court ruling in 1981 gave law enforcement officers the ability to temporarily detain a person found on the premises where a search warrant is being executed even when there is no reason to believe that they are involved in any wrongdoing. This is a very common tactic used by Panama City area law enforcement officers.

The Supreme Court's 6-3 ruling in Bailey v. U.S., on Tuesday, specifically addresses the detention of a person who left the premises searched prior to the arrival of law enforcement officers. The Court found the detention of a person found away from the searched premises unconstitutional despite the fact they found drugs and a firearm linking the suspect to the premises searched.

If you have questions regarding search and seizure or the legality of an arrest, feel free to contact Shepard Law for a consultation and case evaluation.