Minnesota v. Dickerson, 508 U.S. 366, 7 (1993)

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Opinion of the Court



The Fourth Amendment, made applicable to the States by way of the Fourteenth Amendment, Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U. S. 643 (1961), guarantees "[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures." Time and again, this Court has observed that searches and seizures " 'conducted outside the judicial process, without prior approval by judge or magistrate, are per se unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment—subject only to a few specifically established and well delineated exceptions.' " Thompson v. Louisiana, 469 U. S. 17, 19-20 (1984) (per curiam) (quoting Katz v. United States, 389 U. S. 347, 357 (1967) (footnotes omitted)); Mincey v. Arizona, 437 U. S. 385, 390 (1978); see also United States v. Place, 462 U. S. 696, 701 (1983). One such exception was

"the possibility of a criminal defendant's suffering 'collateral legal consequences' from a sentence already served" precludes a finding of mootness. Pennsylvania v. Mimms, 434 U. S. 106, 108, n. 3 (1977) (per curiam); see also Evitts v. Lucey, 469 U. S. 387, 391, n. 4 (1985); Sibron v. New York, 392 U. S. 40, 53-58 (1968). In this case, Minnesota law provides that the proceeding which culminated in finding respondent guilty "shall not be deemed a conviction for purposes of disqualifications or disabilities imposed by law upon conviction of a crime or for any other purpose." Minn. Stat. 152.18 (1992). The statute also provides, however, that a nonpublic record of the charges dismissed pursuant to the statute "shall be retained by the department of public safety for the purpose of use by the courts in determining the merits of subsequent proceedings" against the respondent. Ibid. Construing this provision, the Minnesota Supreme Court has held that "[t]he statute contemplates use of the record should [a] defendant have 'future difficulties with the law.' " State v. Goodrich, 256 N. W. 2d 506, 512 (1977). Moreover, the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has held that a diversionary disposition under 152.18 may be included in calculating a defendant's criminal history category in the event of a subsequent federal conviction. United States v. Frank, 932 F. 2d 700, 701 (1991). Thus, we must conclude that reinstatement of the record of the charges against respondent would carry collateral legal consequences and that, therefore, a live controversy remains.

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