Law enforcement officers conduct searches every day in an effort to find evidence that can be seized and used in court to prosecute people who have violated.
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Presentation on theme: "Law enforcement officers conduct searches every day in an effort to find evidence that can be seized and used in court to prosecute people who have violated."— Presentation transcript:
Law enforcement officers conduct searches every day in an effort to find evidence that can be seized and used in court to prosecute people who have violated the law. The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was written to protect citizens from being harassed without probable cause and arrested without a valid legal foundation. A reasonable expectation of privacy in one's home, vehicle and upon his person is guaranteed to all citizens. Violations of these guaranteed protections can result in the evidence gathered as a result of an illegal search and seizure being inadmissible at trial. Privacy rights extended by the Bill of Rights, however, do have limitations.protect
The Fourth Amendment The Fourth Amendment states, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." secure Ratified by the states in December 1791, the Fourth Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights. The U.S. Constitution had been signed September 17, 1787, in Philadelphia. At the time it only provided the guidelines for the newly-established government. The Bill of Rights contained 10 amendments that established the rights of citizens.
Knowing Your Rights As a result of the Fourth Amendment, Americans have the right to deny law enforcement officers the right to search a car, home or business without a warrant. Prior to an arrest, law enforcement personnel are not obliged to advise a suspect of his right to refuse an illegal search. During checkpoints conducted on public roadways, an officer can request everyone in a vehicle to get out. However, he cannot search the vehicle without permission or a search warrant. If a suspect is asked for permission to search and he gives it, he has waived his rights to privacy and any evidence that is found is admissible in court.car
Exceptions Law enforcement officers have the right to seize without a warrant any evidence that is in plain view. No search was needed to discover the evidence therefore, no warrant was necessary. Having such evidence as a weapon or contraband available in plain sight implies the suspect did not deem it private. If an officer witnesses a criminal activity, she may search the suspect and seize any evidence that she finds. Verified information provided by an informant also gives the officer reasonable grounds for a search. At the time of a traffic stop, if an officer has reason to believe a suspect is armed, she has the right to search him and seize any weapons. The Supreme Court ruled in Terry v. Ohio (1968) that a police officer may search the outer clothing of a suspect for weapons without a warrant if he has reasonable belief a crime may be committed. Motor vehicles may be searched without a warrant if there is a reasonable belief by the police office that there are illegal goods contained in it or if a crime may be taking place.
Warrantless Search Limitations The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in April 2009 in Arizona v. Gant that after a suspect is arrested and handcuffed that police officers must have a warrent to search her vehicle. The 5-4 decision, however, stipulated that the suspect must be within reach of her vehicle. The court also stated that an officer may conduct a search without a search warrant if he has reason to believe evidence is located within the vehicle that will provide further proof of the exact offense the suspect is accused of committing. Without a warrant, a search cannot be conducted to find evidence of another crime.
Other Search and Seizure Rulings The Supreme Court ruled in New Jersey v. T.L.O (1985) that students at public schools may be searched by school officials without probable cause or having a search warrant in instances in which school officials have reasonable suspicions that a student has or is currently violating a law or rules of the school, the student may be searched in an effort to locate evidence of the suspected wrongdoing. In California v. Greenwood (1988), the Supreme Court ruled that garbage and other containers that have been left outside of a home may be searched without a warrant in an attempt to secure evidence of criminal activity. Any evidence uncovered can then be used to obtain a search warrant for the home.