Fourth Amendment Search and Seizure

1010 Words Aug 31st, 2012 5 Pages
The United States Constitution affords all people certain rights. The Fifth Amendment states that we have the right against self incrimination. The Fourth Amendment protects us from unreasonable search or seizure. People have the right to confront witnesses and accusers. Nothing can change these rights unless the U.S. constitutions were to be rewritten and that is not likely to happen. In this paper we will be examining the Fourth Amendment, learning the requirements for obtaining a search warrant, defining probable cause, describing when search and seizure does not require a warrant. We will also explain the rationale for allowing warrantless searches, examine the persuasiveness of these reasons, and determine if probable cause is always …show more content…
In exigent circumstances a warrant is not necessary to conduct a search if the circumstances at the time of the search are necessary to prevent physical harm, the concealment or destruction of evidence, or the escape of a suspect and there is not enough time to obtain a search warrant beforehand (codes of criminal procedure, n.d.).
Probable cause is defined as a reasonable belief that a crime has been committed, that evidence is at the place being sear5ched or on the person being searched, or that a specific person is believed to have committed, is committing, or will commit a certain crime. Law enforcement cannot just go to a judge and say they have probable cause for a warrant. To obtain a warrant law enforcement needs something to substantiate their belief. The standard for probable cause to be met is for any reasonable person to believe based on the evidence or observations presented that indeed either a suspect has or is engaging in criminal activity, or that evidence exists at a certain location. Not all searches require probable cause to be established. The exception to the probable cause is reasonable suspicion. An example of this is a customs search. A custom search requires no warrant or probable cause be presented. But if a custom agent is going to detain a traveler for an extended

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