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Join the conversation! There are now 18 comments on this chapter's page 26. No-Knock Warrant, Protective Sweep. What are your thoughts?
  1. Arathald says

    I love this comic; it’s very clear and informative (heck, even entertaining). However, it’s hard for some of us who follow it regularly to find your latest updates, as we often have to click through pages and pages of a chapter that we’ve already read. Any way we could get a link to the first new page each time you update, or just something to go to the very last page so we could click back through to where we last stopped reading?

    • Which page have you been coming to? Maybe I need to fix a link somewhere. Just going to will always take you to the most recent page (as will clicking on the title image up top). The RSS feed will always update with the latest when it comes out, as well.

      I’m glad you like the comic! I’d do it on a set schedule if I could, but it’s something I squeeze into my free time here and there, which is kinda unpredictable.

        • Thanks!

          Yup, real practicing lawyer here. I do mostly criminal defense in NYC, state & federal. Used to be a prosecutor, too.

          The comic is something I enjoy, so it’s not so hard to find time to do it. Mostly lunch hours & evening “down time.”

      • Ah, there’s my problem. I was always clicking on the link at the top of your tumblr, which goes to the very first chapter. I’ve then been clicking on Contents -> find the latest chapter -> click way too many friggin times. (I never remember the URL, so I google “illustrated guide to criminal law”, which hits your tumblr first — maybe I should remember urls and all that).

    • I have taken to bookmarking the last page I read and then looking for a “next page” arrow when I visit. It might not be an ideal solution, but it is an easy and effective one, given my willingness to keep coming back to a comic that is worth my time to read!

  2. Ben says

    Hypothetically, suppose the pot had been in a closed drawer, where no villain could be hiding. In that case, would the “protective sweep” argument fail?

      • It sounds awfully suspicious to me anyway. It was in an open drawer, right? I have a hard time believing that someone who was honestly just scanning a room quickly for people would have noticed something so small and obscured without going over and peering into the drawer, even if it was open.

    • That’s what’s commonly called “a lie”. I really don’t know what else to call it when you say “they can only seize that particular evidence” when you really mean “they can seize that evidence, as well as anything else they find”.

      • The comic already stated why the marijuana was allowed to be seized even though it wasn’t explicitly stated in the warrant that they were to look in the bedroom for marijuana. The marijuana was in plain view, it was evidence of a crime, and the police weren’t legally prevented from entering the bedroom, so they didn’t do anything wrong in seizing it.

  3. Alexander says

    FYI: When kicking down a door, the heel of the non-kicking foot is firmly planted in the ground. This allows for a much more stable, powerful and safe kick. Don’t feel like you have to fix it or anything, just file it away in the back of your mind for the future.

    • Looks good to me. The foot could be flat on the ground, but the toe toward the viewer rather than the heal elevated.

  4. Kereth says

    So I’m confused. Why does the warrant have to specify what they’re searching for, if they can basically search the location (that specific part of the house, with broader searches elsewhere) and seize any evidence of criminal activity they want? I gather from this that if they had found a corpse, they’d have still been able to use it in a murder case. Why bother making them say what they’re trying to find at all, if they can look for anything?

    • I think that’s basically it. If the warrant specifies something small enough that it could be hidden anywhere, the police can search everywhere on the premises, and use anything and everything they find. Even if it is completely unrelated to anything named in the warrant.

  5. Tarhalindur says

    Feel like I should mention; general warrants are FAR worse than this.
    As in, they do not even require a place or person to be specified at all. They give basically unlimited searching power.
    The Revenue Act in 1767, for instance, gave officials the power to search wherever the fuck they wanted for stolen goods.
    Say what you want about this system, but it is more specific than general warrants.

    Plain see also seems unfair until you get a situation where the police have to ignore a bloody knife because it’s not on the search warrant.

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