Seizure | When has a Suspect or Defendant been Seized?

A seizure occurs when a reasonable person in the defendant’s position would not feel free to terminate the encounter.

Detention Arrest Seizure Florida

When has a Seizure of a Suspect or Defendant Occurred?

Recently I reviewed a case where the cop told a suspect that if he moved, he would be shot. He was not handcuffed or arrested at that point. Was this a seizure? YES The term “seizure” is an important concept in criminal defense. A person can be “seized” before he is actually restrained by physical force at the moment when, given all the circumstances, a reasonable person would believe he is not free to leave. Michigan v. Chesternut, 486 U.S. 567, 573 (1988). As the Supreme Court reaffirmed in Florida v. Bostick,, the test for determining whether a Terry stop has taken place “is whether a reasonable person would feel free to decline the officers’ requests or otherwise terminate the encounter.” 501 U.S. at 436.

Under Florida law the question of a seizure turns on “whether, taking into account all of the circumstances surrounding the encounter, the police conduct would ‘have communicated to a reasonable person that he was not at liberty to ignore the police presence and go about his business.'” Bostick at 437. The court stressed in Chesternut that there is a need for a seizure test which “calls for consistent application from one police encounter to the next” and permits police “to determine in advance whether the conduct contemplated will implicate the Fourth Amendment.” Chesternut at 574.

“Law enforcement officers do not violate the Fourth Amendment by merely approaching an individual on the street or in another public place, by asking him if he is willing to answer some questions, by putting questions to him if the person is willing to listen, or by offering in evidence in a criminal prosecution his voluntary answers to such questions.” Florida v. Royer, 460 U.S. 491, 497; 523, n. 3 (REHNQUIST, J., dissenting).

Casey Anthony – Criminal Convictions Reversed

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Florida Criminal Court Opinion Links Below Video


Criminal Defense Attorney reports two of Casey Anthony’s four convictions have been overturned, a Billion dollar lawsuit was dismissed, and she filed for bankruptcy. In the criminal case, the court concluded that 2 of her convictions were, “REVERSED, in part; and REMANDED for the vacating of two of Appellant’s convictions in accordance with this opinion. Source: Court Records 

Casey Anthony Sued Billions

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Casey was sued for 3 Billion dollars in federal court and won that one. Source: Court Records. Finally, this week Casey Anthony filed for bankruptcy and that case is pending. Source: http://www.wftv.com/documents/2013/jan/26/
casey-anthony-bankruptcy-filing/ .

Casey’s Opinion

Yesterday we had three people (not including Casey Anthony whose whereabouts are unknown)  in the field covering police activity and fun at a huge event called Gasparilla. We had coverage from several camera positions, including a live feed from a helicopter. We lost followers and fans faster than we could count.

Conclusion: since sensationalism and bad news are what readers want, this is what you got – another Casey Anthony update.

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