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Crime Prevention and Detection

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First, one factor that the court should weigh when looking at the government’s interest in public safety is “crime prevention and detection.” United States v. Hensley, 469 U.S. 221, 228 (1985). Crime prevention and detection is directly related to public safety because when crime is detected, it can be prevented by apprehending criminals and getting dangerous criminals off the street.The interest in capturing criminals is “particularly strong when the criminal activity involves a threat to public safety.” United States v. Moran, 503 F.3d 1135, 1142 (10th Cir. 2007).When looking at the nature of the offense, the court should also look at the crime and pay “particular attention to the potential for ongoing or repeated danger . . . and any risk of escalation.” Id. at 1141.Therefore, the public is safer and less likely to become victims of crime with less dangerous criminals on the street.
Because apprehending criminals is involved in crime prevention and detection, another reason courts have allowed a Terry Stop to be performed is to prevent suspects from fleeing and never finding them again or for them to remain at large while posing a threat to the public. The Supreme Court reasoned that where “police have been unable to locate a person suspected of involvement in a past crime, the ability to briefly stop that person, ask questions, or check identification in the absence of probable cause promotes the strong government interest in solving crimes and bringing offenders to justice.” Id. at 229.
Second, another factor the court should weigh when looking at the government’s interest in public safety is “nature” of the offense.United States v. Grigg, 498 F.3d 1070, 1078 (9th Cir. 2007).Public safety is related to the nature of the offe...

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...ed. (R. at 10:6.) In addition, the Defendant was not pulled over until April 2nd after 12pm, which was at least a day and a half since the possible computer trespass had occurred. (R. at 11:7.) Also, in this case, the misdemeanor crime of computer trespass is not threatening to anyone’s safety, and if the information has already been obtained, it is unlikely the suspect will repeat the offense or that the offense will escalate.
There were also less invasive alternatives that would have better served Dansby’s personal interest like there were in Grigg, such as running the license plate and contacting the person registered to the vehicle. SeeGrigg, 498 F.3d at 1076. Therefore, the initial stop of the Defendant violated the Fourth Amendment because the stop would not have promoted the government’s interest enough to justify violating the Defendant’s individual liberty.
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