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Latest Articles

The Fourth Amendment

Arrow Image Search and Seizure



The Fourth Amendment
Search and Seizure
Note: These are notes from a Civics class, and may differ from the actual interpretation of the fourth amendment.

“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.”

The Right to Privacy
~The right to privacy is not specifically stated by the Fourth Amendment, but it has been interpreted to mean this by the Supreme Court.
~The Fourth Amendment dose however protects the freedom of thought, conscience, religion, expres<i></i>sion, and especially property.

Probable Cause and Search Warrants
~People and property can’t be searched without “Probable Cause”.
~Probable Cause means that there must be a good reason to suspect that a law has been broken.
~A Police officer can not decide what is probable cause, only a official judge can decide that.
~Only a judge can issue a warrant, which allows the government to search, and seize property.

Warrants
~Warrants must specifically state what and who can be searched; no blanket warrants can be given to search everywhere and everything.
Example:
The police show up at you door with a search warrant, saying they can search your garage for a stolen car. If they look in a tool case while in there, and they find something illegal, then that can not be used in the court of law, because it was illegally acquired.
~Exclusionary Rule, is that if evidence is acquired illegally, it cant be used against you (even if it proves guilt).
~Illegally acquired evidence can be used if it was found “In good faith” , or “Inevitably” by the police.
What this means, is that if the police would have eventually found it, that it can be used against you. The judge will decide whether it would have inevitably found.

Exceptions
~1. Consent – you allow the police to search your house or you, or whatever it is they want to search.
~2. Plain Sight – if something illegal is right in front of the officer
Example:
You let the police come in and search your home, and they go in the living room and find a drug lab.
~3. Border and airport checkpoints
Example:
Your going into Canada from the US, and they think you might be smuggling drugs. They can do whatever means necessary to find those drugs. From cutting up your seats and pulling out the stuffing to ripping out a passenger chair.
~4. A search fallowing an arrest – when a search of the area nearby is needed to ensure safety.
Example:
Two men rob a bank and the police track them down to their house. If only one man is found and arrested, they can search your house looking for the other man.

Comments

the_flashon May 18 2006 - 16:29:29
Hmm Very interesting. Nice
wolfmankurdon May 18 2006 - 16:31:01
nice.
cubeman372on May 18 2006 - 17:47:10
Thanks for that doood!Grin
system_meltdownon May 18 2006 - 20:46:50
Hmm, interesting Smile
Sahmon May 18 2006 - 23:22:21
nice article. good job.
regiton May 18 2006 - 23:38:44
Thank you everyone Grin
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