Wednesday, February 20, 2013

United States v. Mendenhall case brief

United States v. Mendenhall case brief summary
446 U.S. 544

The United States appealed the Sixth Circuits judgment.
The judgement of the Sixth Circuit reversed a conviction of the defendant for possessing her*in with intent to distribute.

-The Defendant was convicted of possessing her*in with intent to distribute.
-The district court had denied the defendant's motion to suppress the introduction of the her*in at trial. 
-The lower appellate court reversed.
-The lower court held that the defendant's consent to the search of her person was not voluntarily given. 
-On appeal, the court reversed the lower court's judgment. 

-The court held that the defendant was not seized when she was approached by the federal agents when they asked to see her ticket and identification, even though defendant was not expressly told that she was free to decline to cooperate with their inquiry. 

-A person is seized within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment only if, in view of all of the circumstances that surround the incident, a reasonable person would have believed that he/she was not free to leave. 
-The totality of the evidence is adequate to support the district court's findings that defendant had voluntarily consented to accompany the officers and that defendant consented to the search of her person freely and voluntarily.

The court reversed the judgment of the lower appellate court.

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