Case Study: Spinelli V. United States

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The following essay will outline the variances of two case” Illinois v. Gates and Spinelli v. United States. It will discuss the Supreme Court requires to establish probable cause for a warrant.
Illinois v. Gates In Illinois v. Gates, law enforcement received a letter (that was anonymous) stating that the Gate family was in the drug transporting business, and operating between the states of Florida and Illinois. Upon investigation, law enforcement discovered that Gates had made the purchase of an Air Line ticket, traveling to Florida. With surveillance, they observe that he meet with a person, and proceed to return to Illinois, via driving. Based on the anonymous tip and the observation of said events, matching in similarity to the information provided in the letter, the law enforcement obtained a search warrant. Duing the exection of the search warrant, a massive durg load was discovered in Gates car, he was subsequently arrested. The decision of the Trial Courts, made judgement that there was no probable cause, thus invalidating the search warrant, leaving the drugs found, inadmissible to the case. Gates counsel argued that law enforcement lack of sufficient probable cause for a warrant was a fourth amendment violation. The decision of the Trail Courts, was upheld by The Appellate Court. The court used the example of Spinelli v. United States, …show more content…

This decision was upheld by The Illinois Supreme Court affirmed. However, later the United Stated Supreme Court made a reversal and ruled that probable cause existed. This reversal lead to The US Supreme Court also making a reversal in their decision in the Spinelli case; it was determined that the” totality of the circumstances” should be considered when testing if probable cause,

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