In the case of Huertas v. United States, the defendant is requesting that the United States Supreme Court grant certiorari in his case, to address the issue of when an individual can be seized for the purposes of the Fourth Amendment. In order to trigger a defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights, the person must be seized under the law. For example, a person is not automatically seized any time there is interaction with the police. A court will look at the circumstances of the encounter and attempt to determine if a reasonable person would not feel free to leave. Cases involving flight from the police raise interesting Fourth Amendment issues.
The Branden case was a gun charge. In gun crimes, often the police will receive anonymous tips that are frequently uncorroborated that a person has a gun. In the Branden case, the defendant initially spoke to the officer. The defendant submitted to the officer’s show of authority for between 30 and 60 seconds. When the officer got out of his car, the defendant ran and discarded a gun while running from the officer.
By temporarily complying with the officer’s show of authority, the defendant argued that he was seized under the Fourth Amendment. The defendant argued that since the defendant was seized, the seizure was unlawful because it was not supported by reasonable suspicion.