The Law Officer’s Pocket Manual is a handy, pocket-sized, spiral-bound manual that highlights basic legal rules for quick reference and offers examples showing how those rules are applied. The manual provides concise guidance based on U.S. Supreme Court rulings on constitutional law issues and other legal developments, covering arrest, search, surveillance, and other routine as well as sensitive areas of law enforcement. It includes more than 100 examples drawn from leading cases to provide guidance on how to act in a wide variety of situations.

The 2020 edition is completely updated to reflect recent court decisions. This book helps you keep track of everything in a readable and easy-to-carry format. Some of the most important case rulings from the past 12 months include:

  • The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that probable cause for an arrest precludes a later First Amendment retaliatory arrest claim.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court determined that the exigent circumstances doctrine to the Fourth Amendment will generally allow for a blood draw from an unconscious motorist to be performed without a warrant.
  • The Eleventh Circuit ruled that seizing items, such as a mobile phone, from bystanders violates clearly established law and subjects the officer to a civil rights lawsuit.
  • The Ninth Circuit ruled that the seizure of a mobile phone without a warrant following a high-speed chase was justified as an inventory search under the Fourth Amendment.
  • The Second Circuit dove into the circuit split on rental car searches, deciding that an unlicensed driver not in lawful possession of the vehicle cannot challenge the search.
  • The Seventh Circuit explained that the exclusionary rule does not apply to an illegal entry if there is overwhelming evidence of probable cause and a search warrant was planned before entry.
  • The Second Circuit reaffirmed the principle that prolonging a traffic stop is not unconstitutional if the reason is supported by reasonable suspicion.

Annually updated since 1972, The Law Enforcement Pocket Manual, provides police officers, criminal justice practitioners, and students with historical and social context for their role in criminal justice and the guidelines that should be followed in day-to-day policing activities.

Routledge offers tiered discounts on bulk orders of 5 or more copies: For more information, please visit: https://www.routledge.com/collections/16268



chapter III


chapter IV


chapter V

Search Incident to Arrest

chapter VI


chapter VII

Search and Seizure

chapter IX


chapter X

Disabled Persons