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  • +6

    Cellular Phones/Digital Devices and Search Incident to Arrest

    *During a drug arrest, may the suspect’s phone be searched incident to his or her arrest and may that phone be searched back at the station?* Over the last ten to fifteen years, cellular telephones, pagers and other digital devices have become common items that are carried by just about everyone. Almost everyone has a cellular telephone. The purpose of this ...
    Rated +6
  • +2

    The Role of Eye Contact During Interpersonal Communication

    When average people are asked about nonverbal communication, most will mention eye contact. The eyes are considered "the windows of the soul" and The Eagles warned that, "you can't hide your lying eyes." When Judge Judy detects possible deception, she admonishes the witness to look her in the eyes. Effective communicators learn not only how to read the meaning of another ...
    Rated +2
  • +1

    Lying to a Suspect: How Far Can an Investigator Go?

    During the course of an investigation an investigator often must rely on duplicity and pretense in an effort to develop evidence against the guilty suspect. Common examples include the use of undercover operatives, hidden surveillance video or "baiting" a cash drawer with extra money. Provided these procedures do not entice a person to commit a crime (entrapment), they are generally acceptable ...
    Rated +1
  • +12

    Modus Operandi Vs. Offender Signature

    Many aspects of forensic psychology (behavior analysis) are used to identify suspect(s) of violent crime in modern police investigations. The two most basic aspects of measurable and identifiable criminal behavior in the field of forensic behavioral analysis are modus operandi (MO) and offender signature. In order to perform effective investigations of violent or serial crime, investigators should have a rudimentary understanding ...
    Rated +12
  • +7

    An Investigator's First Step in Violent Offender Profiling

    An Investigator's First Step in Violent Offender Profiling
    Over the past few decades, the emergence of novels and movies such as “The Silence of the Lambs” has created the image in the public’s eyes of profilers being superhuman men and women capable of ungodly leaps of almost psychic intuition which lead to the magical capture of the villain. While (unfortunately) no such person exists, the science of criminal offender ...
    Rated +7
  • +8

    Visual Documentation in Crime Scene Investigations

    Visual Documentation in Crime Scene Investigations
    Upon arrival at a major crime scene, officers must have the ability to effectively multi-task utilizing what often amounts to be very limited resources. Supervising officers and investigators must work diligently and take steps in order to preserve the integrity of any evidence and the scene as a whole in order to facilitate an effective investigation as well as effective prosecution. ...
    Rated +8
  • +4

    Seven Crime Scene Fundamentals

    Seven Crime Scene Fundamentals
    Crime scene protection is one of the basic, yet critical aspects, of field police work. Good crime scene practices enhance criminal investigations and, ultimately prosecutions. In this article, we explore seven aspects of crime scene protection that will improve your skills. What is a crime scene? If you ask most law enforcement professionals, they will likely tell you a crime scene ...
    Rated +4
  • +8

    Search and Seizure of Real Property

    Search and Seizure of Real Property
    There are many legal issues for law enforcement officers to contend with in regards to Search and Seizure of persons and property. In order to effectively understand search and seizure law and procedure, it’s important to have a basic understanding of related history and case law. Fundamental issues to consider when dealing with Search and Seizure include probable cause, search warrant ...
    Rated +8
  • +1

    Developing an Interview Strategy

    Some interviews are free-flowing and spontaneous. Often, these interviews are conducted in an uncontrolled environment such as a street corner, an employee’s office or over the telephone. Because the person being interviewed in these situations is generally telling the truth, the investigator does not have to carefully structure an interview strategy. However, when interviewing a person who is motivated to lie ...
    Rated +1
  • +5

    The Use of Trickery and Deceit During Interrogation

    During an interrogation, an investigator attempts to persuade a suspect to tell the truth, oftentimes to provide incriminating evidence that will be used in a subsequent prosecution. Further, interrogations are generally conducted in situations where there is insufficient evidence to assure a conviction and, in many cases, the suspect's actual guilt may not be 100% certain. If an investigator was required ...
    Rated +5
  • Rate

    Distinguishing Between Admissions and Confessions

    An admission represents a statement that tends toward proving guilt. On the other hand, a confession is a fully corroborated statement during which the suspect accepts personal responsibility for committing a crime. This distinction is important for legal and procedural reasons. For example, a theft suspect who agrees to reimburse the victim for the $1000 stolen has offered an admission, not ...
  • +1

    The Computerized Voice Stress Analyzer (CVSA)

    Throughout history man has tried to identify a single, unique physiological responses that would only be present when a person lied. In the 1970's a phenomenon known as a vocal micro tremor was identified and seemed to be only present in a person's voice during periods of high stress. Before any serious research could be conducted, entrepreneurs seized the opportunity to ...
    Rated +1
  • +1

    The Importance of the Employment Application

    It is often impractical for an employer to personally interview every person applying for a particular position. For this reason, most job applicants are initially screened by reviewing a written summary of the candidate's background. This information will typically be provided through either an employment application or a resume. While employment applications are customary for individuals applying for hourly positions, for ...
    Rated +1
  • +1

    Understanding the Attorney-Client Privilege in Criminal Investigations

    Throughout history, the United States Judiciary has generally endeavored to balance the need for enforcement of law and criminal code against the broader goals society. While the maintenance of law and order is integral to the functioning of our society, so is the maintenance of trust between members of society who share certain personally or professionally intimate relationships, such as family ...
    Rated +1
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    A Review of Legal Issues Concerning Trickery and Deceit During an Interrogation

    A number of recent cases involving an investigator’s use of trickery and deceit during an interrogation have caused problems in the subsequent trial. In some of these cases the confession was suppressed. These cases have not involved a novel legal argument or radical interpretations of current law. Rather, existing laws have been applied in a predictable manner in situations in which ...
  • +3

    Note Taking During an Interview

    When participants see video-taped interviews at our seminars, it is obvious that our interviewers take a written note following each response offered by a subject. The Reid Technique advocates active note taking during a structured interview for three reasons. First, taking a written note following each response slows down the pace of questioning. It is much easier to lie to a ...
    Rated +3
  • +2

    Ecology and Police Management: Increasing Efficiency in Patrol Operations

    While traditional research into police social science has focused primarily on the immediate effects of police-citizen encounters, circumstances surrounding those encounters, and the effects of internal and external organizational factors on police action, Klinger’s (1997) theory on police discretion focuses on “linking police activity to the ecological context in which it occurs” (p. 278). This nontraditional approach opens the door to ...
    Rated +2
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    Interviewing Elderly Subjects

    Interviewing techniques presented in textbooks or during seminars generally assume that the person being interviewed is an emotionally healthy and mature individual with a normal IQ. Twenty-five years ago, when the epidemic of unreported child sexual abuse attracted national attention, specific interviewing techniques were developed to address the special circumstances of eliciting information from a child. Contemporary investigators are now dealing ...
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    Arranging a Non-Custodial Interview

    During our training seminars we advocate that if the option is available it is preferable to conduct a non-custodial interview rather than a custodial interview. To persuade a guilty subject to voluntarily agree to present himself at the investigator's location for an interview requires that the interview be introduced in the proper manner. A past case clearly illustrates an improper approach: ...
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    Miranda, Article 31 and Constitutional Advisements

    During training seminars frequently the issue comes up as to the best time to advise a suspect of his constitutional rights. There are both legal and psychological considerations in answering this question. Legally, Miranda rights must be administered prior to questioning a suspect who is in custody. Therefore, the investigator must have probable cause to arrest a suspect, and actually ...
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