Police set up a sting for online solicitation of a minor. Male from out of town agrees to meet girl at park. Police at park and arrest him as he goes to meeting place. Judge wants to know why there was no arrest warrant. Prosecutor argued that the solicitation was an ongoing crime and the meet took place in the presence of the officer so no warrant necessary. I have not yet found any case law on this. Is a warrant necessary since officer does not know if the guy will show until he does and that makes it in officer's presence?
I looked breifly and didn't find anything either. Does the fact that it's online solicitation make the meet-up a suspicious place?This message has been edited. Last edited by: David Newell,
I did a pretty thorough search and didn't find any cases on point for that situation, but it sure seems like showing up at the meeting place "reasonably shows that such persons have been guilty of some felony," under CCP 14.03.
The felony was committed when the solicitations occured. Although showing up at the meeting place is not an element of the offense, it sure seems to "reasonably show" the person who showed up is also the person who made the solicitation to meet in the first place.
That's what I was thinking. If a hospital can, in context, be suspicious, I would think a park the police knew was a planned site for a suspect to meet an online-ally solicited minor would also be suspicious.
And remember before we got online solicitation we did these as attempted agg sex assault. Would the Judge want the officer to wait and get a warrant if that was still the offense........
NOT BUYING THIS! If an arrest warrant is required in this instance, shouldn't warrants also be required for undercover narcotics deals?
Thanks for the help. All of the responses gave good arguments for the lack of the need for a warrant. Really appreciated.
Just got the order from the judge. He suppressed all of the communications at the park and after the arrest, but allowed the actual online communications to be admitted. Because there is a plea in the works the State is not going to appeal. Any ideas on how to brief our law enforcement officers regarding this ruling by the judge/
If this is a problem, somebody better alert the AG's office--their cyber crimes guys bust these guys like this and film it for press releases!
But do the AG's people already have a warrant for the suspect's arrest when he shows up at the agreed location?
The narcotics example may be an on view offense, but the online solicitation is not. Our guys get arrest warrants. Don't be fooled by tv shows that don't review Texas law or involve law enforcement officers in their planning. Instead, think along the lines of the Texas CCP.
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