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The Pros And Cons Of Search And Seizures

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Search and seizure is a vital and controversial part of criminal justice, from the streets to the police station to court. It is guided by the Fourth Amendment, which states that people have the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure of their bodies, homes, papers, and possessions and that warrants describing what and where will be searched and/or seized are required to be able to search the above things (“Fourth Amendment,” n.d.). Interpretations of the Fourth Amendment by the U.S. Supreme Court and the establishment of case law by many state and federal courts have expanded upon the circumstances under which search and seizure is legal. Several doctrines and exceptions have also emerged from the Supreme Court and other case law that guide law enforcement officers on the job and aid lawyers in court.
Police officers use search and seizure as a tool to ensure their safety, gather evidence, and arrest suspects. In police training, a search is defined as an examination of a hidden place, i.e. a person or their property, whose purpose is to find contraband (DOCJT, 2014, p. 10). A seizure is defined as the capture or arrest of a person or the confiscation of property (DOCJT, 2014, p. 10). Depending on the individual situation, a warrant may or may not be required to conduct searches and seizures. The exclusionary rule, which states that illegally seized evidence is inadmissible in court, has guided the definition of search and seizure, specifically as it pertains
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