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October 23rd, 2013 Uncategorized

Recently a federal judge up in New York decided that the manner in which New York City police conduct their “stop-and-frisk” approach violates the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution.   That clause of the Constitution requires that the police do not treat people of certain nationalities, races or religions differently in the way in which they enforce the law.   The decision vaulted the contentious issue back into the national spotlight.   Some say that it aided Bill DeBlasio’s candidacy for mayor of New York City.

One question, however, is whether the stop-and-frisk approach is even used in rural areas.  In states such as Arkansas or Oklahoma which lack the dense cities of the Northeastern United States or California, these kinds of approaches do not make much sense.  Crime, or the risk of crime, is not isolated to certain historically dangerous neighborhoods in the way that they may be in New York, Philadelphia or even Atlanta, a southern city.  For people arrested in Oklahoma or Arkansas, the issue of whether a police stop is constitutional usually does not revolve around whether it is part of some highly-publicized macro-approach to policing.  Rather, when a defendant in a criminal case in Rogers or Fort Smith wants to challenge his stop or arrest, the inquiry is based on the very particular circumstances surrounding his arrest.

Usually the most common way for any Oklahoma or Arkansas defendant to beat a particular charge is to assert that the stop by the police or the seizure of any evidence from that person violates his or her Fourth Amendment protections from unreasonable search and seizure.  The defendant needs a skilled, knowledgeable attorney who knows the boundaries of the Fourth Amendment and how it applies.   They need to know how to conduct an investigation which will test whether the stop and/or search was constitutional or not.

 At the law firm of NOLAN CADDELL REYNOLDS, our attorneys have substantial experience representing those charged with criminal offenses..  Our criminal defense attorneys have regularly challenged searches and seizures of evidence that the police have sought to use against criminal defendants.  Contact us toll free at 1-800-709-5297 or locally at 479-782-5297.  Or you can reach us on our website at www.nolancaddellreynolds.com[SM1] .


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Michelle Lee