Legal Analysis Memorandum

Legal Analysis Memorandum

Pretend you are a new associate at a criminal defense firm in Washington DC. Write a three-page (double spaced, 12 font)internal memorandum to your supervising attorney regarding the legal issues of this particular fact pattern (see the memorandum from your supervisor below). A Project Cover Page (Student’s name, course, date, project title) is NOT included in the page count. Structure your paper as follows:

Focus your analysis on the Fourth Amendment and its right-to-privacy aspects.

Using the criminal statute provided, compare the two legal cases indicated below using only the links supplied below with the facts to determine whether the rules from those cases apply to the facts. It is a given that the criminal statutes provided apply.

Structure the body of your memo to the supervising attorney using the IRAC method:

I. Issue: Explain the material facts presented in the memo from the supervising attorney, and clearly state whether the drugs and/or guns found should be admissible or not.

II. Rule: Address the relevant criminal procedure issues, the applicable fundamental rights established by the Fourth Amendment, and the issues and rules clarified in the case law given that are relevant to whether the drugs found on Mr. Blake should be admissible or not. (e.g., stop and frisk, plain view)

III. Analysis: Using the relevant facts presented, determine whether or not they meet the requirements set out in the DC Code, the amendments, or Mapp v. Ohio and Minnesota v. Carter regarding the admissibility of evidence (drugs and guns) in the criminal prosecution against Mr. Blake.

IV. Conclusion: Restate your legal opinion.

Case Law Supplied by the Firm’s Law Librarian

Mapp v. Ohio 367 U.S. 643 (1961) http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0367_0643_ZO.html

Minnesota v. Carter 525 U.S. 83 (1998)

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/97-1147.ZO.html

Criminal Statutes provided by the Firm’s Law Librarian (Use ONLY the elements of the crime as described below.)

Possession of a Controlled Substance

Type of Offense: Misdemeanor. DC Code Citation: §48-904.01, §48-904.08

Charge Elements: The elements of this offense are as follows:

1. The defendant possessed a controlled substance.

2. The defendant did so knowingly and intentionally. This means consciously, voluntarily, and on purpose, not mistakenly, accidentally, or inadvertently.

Possession of a Controlled Substance

Type of Offense: Felony. DC Code Citation: §48-904.01

Charge Elements: The elements of this offense are as follows:

1. The defendant distributed a controlled substance. To distribute means to transfer or to attempt to transfer an item to another person. The government need not prove that the defendant received or expected to receive anything of value in return.

2. The defendant distributed the controlled substance knowingly and intentionally. This means consciously, voluntarily, and on purpose, not mistakenly, accidentally, or inadvertently.

3. When the defendant distributed the controlled substance, he was at least 21 years of age.

4. When he distributed the controlled substance, the person to whom the substance was distributed was under 18 years old.

5. The amount or quantity of the controlled substance distributed was ____ grams or more.

In the District of Columbia, if the controlled substance is marijuana and this is the offender’s first conviction for distribution and/or possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, then the maximum exposure of incarceration is 180 days.

Unregistered Firearm

Type of Offense: Felony/Misdemeanor. DC Code Citation: §7-2502.01, §7-2507.06

Charge Elements: The elements of this offense are as follows:

1. The defendant knowingly possessed a firearm.

2. The defendant did so knowingly and intentionally.

3. The defendant had not registered the firearm as required by District of Columbia law, or the defendant possessed a pistol or firearm in his dwelling place or place of business or on other land possessed by the defendant that could have been registered.

4. The defendant knowingly distributed a firearm to a person under 18 years of age, or the defendant had a prior conviction for a violation of this section, in which cases, the offense is a felony.

Fact Pattern supplied by your Supervisor

Memorandum

To: Junior Associate

From: Supervising Attorney

Re: DC v. Blake

Mr. Jonathan Blake, a new client of the firm, recently requested our legal services in a criminal matter.

Mr. Blake was recently arrested for possession of a controlled substance by the Metropolitan Police Department. According to Mr. Blake, the facts are as follows: Jessie Smith and his wife are the co-owners of a residence at 3630 16th St. NW, Washington DC, 20015. Jessie Smith and Jonathan Blake run a catering business in the Smiths’ basement.

Jonathan Blake was at the Smiths’ house on Sunday, February 6, 2011, watching the Super Bowl.

Mr. Blake and two other guests were sitting on the couch watching television and smoking marijuana. The Smiths’ home has a very large living room window. Police officers responded to a call from a neighbor about noise emanating from the Smith household. Officers observed Mr. Blake and his friends smoking marijuana through the large living room window. Officers also observed Mr. Blake hand a baggie of white powder to someone standing near the couch.

Officers then knocked on the door. After hiding the drugs, Mr. Smith opened the door and granted the officers access. When the officers came inside, they informed Mr. Blake and his friends that they had witnessed the transfer of a baggie of white powder between Mr. Blake and another gentleman and that everyone in the room had been observed smoking marijuana through the living room window. Police then observed what looked like a shotgun sandwiched between the cushions of the couch near Mr. Blake. Upon further inspection, the officers discovered three other guns underneath the same couch. The ownership of all four confiscated firearms is in dispute.

The officers then conducted a pat-down search of Mr. Blake and everyone else in the room. The officers found that Mr. Blake had on his person a large amount of suspected marijuana, suspected cocaine, and money ($400). Another occupant of the room had a baggie of suspected cocaine (white powder). Mr. Blake was then charged with possession of a controlled substance, distribution of a controlled substance, and possession of an unregistered firearm.

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