Search & Seizure

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Search & Seizure A police officer is dispatched to a call in his jurisdiction for a noise complaint. The police officer arrives hearing very loud music coming from the residence which violates a noise ordinance. The police officer knocks on the front door with no answer so he proceeds to the back door to knock when he observes what appears to be marijuana plants based on his training and experience. The police officer can seize the marijuana plants based on the Plain View Doctrine. “In Harris v. United States (1968), the Supreme Court ruled that anything a police officer sees in plain view, when the officer has a right to be where he or she is, is not the product of a search and is therefore admissible as evidence.” [1] The…show more content…
“In an extension of the plain view doctrine, officers are also allowed to do a protective sweep when they make an arrest on or outside private premises. They may, despite the absence of a search warrant, examine the entire premises for other persons whose presence would pose a threat either to their safety or to evidence that could be removed or destroyed.” [5] The police officer has the right to seize anything in plain view while conducting the sweep. The police officer would need to lock down the house after the sweep and apply for the search warrant. If the police officer precedes to search the resident’s house without obtaining a search warrant the evidence obtained can be deemed illegal under the Fruit of the Poisonous Tree Doctrine. “Under this rule, Fruit of the Poisonous Tree Doctrine, evidence that has been seized illegally is considered “tainted” and cannot be used against a suspect.” [6] The Exclusionary Rule could also be used as cited in the Mapp v. Ohio case. Anything obtained illegally could be deemed tainted or inadmissible in court. It is imperative that the police officers follow all procedures faithfully and as per the tenets that the courts have set up. Any mistakes can, and regularly do, permit a liable party to go free on a technicality.
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