Questions On Search And Seizure

1898 Words8 Pages
What is meant by search and seizure? Search and seizure by definition simply means that it is a law enforcement practice whereby an individual or their living quarters is searched and evidence is seized that can be useful in a criminal case to benefit the prosecution. The Fourth Amendment of our U. S. Constitution declares that people must be secure in their homes and in their persons against unreasonable searches and seizures (Schmalleger, 2006). What this means is that the Fourth Amendment will only allow state or federal law enforcement officials to conduct searches of property or make arrests on the conditions that they have probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed and evidence will be found. If probable cause does…show more content…
The first component provides individuals with the protection against unreasonable searches and seizures and the second provides for the proper issuing of warrants. When warrants are issued, it is mandated for probable cause to exist. According to the Supreme Court, when there is any illegal activity being conducted by an individual or group of people, there can be no expectation of privacy. This simply means that investigations that reveal just illegal activities are not considered searches. Take for instance; a warrant is not necessary for search and seizure under certain conditions. If any law enforcement official happens to come across an illegal substance or object that is in plain view, the investigator has the authority to search and seize the evidence. However, before the law enforcement official can do so, he must have probable cause to believe that it is contraband. Law enforcement officials are allowed to search open fields, waters, woods, and other areas without a search warrant, but only on the basis that the individuals conducting activities therein had no reasonable expectations of privacy. In addition, the Supreme Court has held individuals in automobiles a lack of privacy, due to vehicles aren’t generally considered as residences or repositories of personal effects. It has been held that searches of public schools do not require probable cause or a search warrant in order to check an area or individual’s
Get Access