Beck v. Ohio

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In Beck v. Ohio, 379 U.S. 89, 96-97 (1964), the U.S. Supreme Court emphasized its requirement under the Fourth Amendment that criminal evidence should be excluded from trial if it was discovered by police without any specific justification upon which the police action was predicated.

In the case defendant William Beck, was driving his automobile near Cleveland when the Cleveland police officers:

"accosted him, identified themselves, and ordered him to pull over to the curb. The officers possessed neither an arrest warrant nor a search warrant. Placing him under arrest, they searched his car but found nothing of interest. They then took him to a nearby police station where they searched his person and found an envelope containing a number of clearing house slips 'beneath the sock of his leg.' The petitioner was subsequently charged in the Cleveland Municipal Court with possession of clearing house slips in violation of a state criminal statute."

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned his conviction and held that the clearing slips were seized in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

Justice Potter Stewart delivered the opinion of the court.

External Links

  • Case at FindLaw (registration may be required)
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