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Legal Scope of Search Warrants Somewhat Elusive

October 21, 2013, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

The requirement of a valid search warrant prior to the search of individual‘s property is a very important 4th Amendment protection. It is pretty clear that a failure to properly secure a search warrant where one is required constitutes an illegal search and seizure under the 4th Amendment. However, as with most issues of constitutional […]

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Search and Seizure Rights – Who Can Assert Them?

September 16, 2013, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

The New Mexico Court of Appeals addressed an interesting search and seizure issue in the case of State v. Silvas. The case dealt with a couple of other issues but the threshold issue was the 4th Amendment argument made by the defendant for pretextual car stop. Interestingly, the pretextual stop did not involve the defendant […]

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Revoked License Provides Reasonable Suspicion for Traffic Stop in New Mexico

August 13, 2013, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

The New Mexico Court of Appeals case of State v. Hicks deals with a significant criminal law issue of when a police officer has reasonable suspicion to stop a vehicle. Reasonable suspicion in a traffic stop protects against illegal search and seizure most often associated with profiling. Likewise, it is important in the defense of […]

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Character Evidence and Self-Defense in New Mexico

July 24, 2013, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

In criminal cases involving acts of violence, self-defense is often asserted as a defense. In support of that defense, the defendant will often try to show that the alleged victim was the aggressor. To do this, the defendant will attempt to show that the alleged victim was known for violence. This evidence raises important evidentiary […]

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Efficiency No Grounds for Search & Seizure Exception

July 17, 2013, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

The U.S. Supreme Court case of Bailey v. United States addressed whether the seizure of a person is reasonable under the 4th Amendment when he‘s stopped and detained “at some distance away from the premises” that are to be legally searched under a warrant. The state tried to justify (and the lower courts agreed) the […]

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Confrontation Rights Fully Apply to State‘s Forensic Experts

, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

At issue in the 2012 New Mexico Court of Appeals case State v. Moncayo were the Defendant‘s rights under the 6th Amendment allows for confrontation of witnesses in criminal trial of the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution and the New Mexico State Constitution. The Facts The Defendant was in possession of a […]

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Drug Sniffing Dogs and the 4th Amendment

, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

In the case of Florida v. Jardines, the United States Supreme Court addressed whether the use of a drug-sniffing dog on the porch of a homeowner constituted a search under the 4th Amendment. In short, the court found that it did. For background, the police received a tip that the homeowner was growing marijuana. Based […]

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Double Jeopardy and Trial De Novo from New Mexico Magistrate Court

July 15, 2013, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

The New Mexico Court of Appeals case State v. Baca deals with a number of important criminal defense issues. In sum, the court addresses the issues of trial de novo following a magistrate court dismissal with prejudice and how such dismissal plays into double jeopardy. This case involves a defendant who was arrested for aggravated […]

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Warrant to Search Everyone on Premises Generally Invalid in New Mexico

July 12, 2013, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

The New Mexico Court of Appeals case State v. Light presents an important criminal law issue concerning illegal search and seizure. The Court had to determine whether the district court erred when it determined that a warrant was “impermissibly broad” in allowing police officers to search “all persons” who were located on specific premises. In […]

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Loss or Destruction of Evidence – 3 Prong Test for Dismissal of Criminal Charges

July 11, 2013, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

The New Mexico Court of Appeals case of State v. Redd involves an important criminal law issue concerning the loss or destruction of evidence and a district court‘s abuse of discretion. In this case, the Court had to determine whether certain requirements to dismiss the defendant‘s case had been met as a result of the […]

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