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Criminal Procedure Keyed to Allen
Whren v. United States
Citation:517 U.S. 806 (1996).
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- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
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- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
Plainclothes officers were patrolling a high drug area in D.C. in an unmarked car. They passed by a dark truck with temporary license plates and young occupants stopped at a stop sign. The truck remained stopped for an unusual amount of time and when the police car executed a U-turn to head back towards the truck, the truck quickly turned without signaling and sped off down the road. The police officers followed the truck and pulled up alongside it at a red light. One of the officers exited his vehicle and approached the car, telling the driver, Brown, to put the car in park. When the officer went up to the driver’s window, he saw two large plastic bags of what appeared to be crack cocaine in the Defendant, Whren’s, hands. Brown and the Defendant were arrested and quantities of several types of illegal drugs were retrieved from the vehicle. The Defendant and Brown were charged with violating various federal drug laws. At a pretrial suppression hearing, they challenged the legality of the stop and the subsequent seizure of the drugs. They argued that the stop was not justified by probable cause or reasonable suspicion and that the officer’s ground for approaching the vehicle to give the driver a warning for a traffic violation was pretextual.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
- Holding: Shares the Court's answer to the legal questions raised in the issue.
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- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.