4th Amendment Search Seizure Probable Cause Virginia Fairfax Lawyers Controlled Substance
Ethan v Commonwealth
Defendant appealed from the Circuit Court of Fairfax, Virginia, where he was convicted for possession of a Schedule I or II controlled substance, in violation of Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-250. Defendant claimed the trial court erred for two reasons as there was probable cause. First, he contended that he was unreasonably seized when he was ordered to comply with the deputies during a protective sweep of a house he was visiting. Second, defendant contended that the search of his pants pocket did not fall within the plain view exception to the warrant requirement. The court disagreed that defendant was seized in violation of his Fourth Amendment right to be free from an unreasonable seizure.
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The Virginia Court made the following holding:
- On appeal from a trial court’s denial of a motion to suppress, the Court of Appeals of Virginia must review the evidence in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth, granting to the Commonwealth all reasonable inferences fairly deducible from it.
- The purpose of the Fourth (4th) Amendment is not to eliminate all contact between the police and the citizenry, but to prevent arbitrary and oppressive interference by enforcement officials with the privacy and personal security of individuals.
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Article written by A Sris
These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.