The Importance Of Conducting An Inventory Search

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Conducting an inventory search can be a sensitive topic to discuss because it has a relativity close connection to the fourth amendment, which is the right to privacy. Law enforcement have the right to warrantless searches when a subject is under policy custody. However, there are certain procedures and guidelines that has to be taking in order to ensure a lawfully inventory search. There are court cases that have been presented that makes that exemption to the fourth amendment more complex. This is why it is vital for the law enforcement to be cautious, and avoid impermissible inventory searches as much as possible. With the guidelines of an inventory search being revised frequently citizens and law enforcers have to be aware to when and under …show more content…
In order to prevent such actions being taken place there are certain guidelines that has to be followed. For example, if a citizen parks his or her car in a restricted area and the private owner contacts impoundment the law enforcement has the right to search throughout his or her car without a warrant. However, before any of that can be applied Stering, R. (2005) who wrote Police Officer’s Handbook states in order for an inventory search to be legitimate there are two conditions that has to be met, a written policy of that department stating when it can be conducted, and all subjects are being inventoried in the same manner. The United States vs Carroll is the case that sets the foundation for inventory searches. In a case relatively similar to the one above it plainly states that as long as that department have a standardized procedure governing inventory searches and that department mandates every subject that is in their …show more content…
It is also impermissible if there is no policy governing the subject in regards to an inventory search. For example, the law enforcement have no right to stop someone for a traffic violation and insist an inventory search to be done in search for criminal contents. However, if an officer have reasonable suspicious of a crime being committed during a stop and that person gets detained, that officer has the right to do an inventory search in good faith after it is impounded because the subject is now under policy custody. Also, if any incriminating evidence is found when conducting an inventory search than it can be lawfully seized under the plain view doctrine. A court case where the department of justice unlawfully did an inventory search was Florida vs Well (1990); in this case it discuss how an inventory search of a closed container is unjust because there was not a policy that governed the opening of that container. Without following the proper guideless an inventory search can quickly be turned into an unlawfully

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