The Pros And Cons Of Illegal Searches

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After a person is arrested, there are steps and processes that must be followed. One big part of the process includes searches and seizures. What in particular has to be noted when it comes to searches are the principles behind illegal searches, what can constitute a legal and illegal search, and when the lines can be blurred between the two. Searches are necessary to gather evidence. They play big roles in any investigation, but they must be conducted correctly. If not, than the evidence cannot be used. First, to be covered is the exclusionary rule and the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine. They each cover the use of evidence collected in illegal searches. The exclusionary rule “holds that evidence illegally seized by the police cannot …show more content…
A case that helped define these lines was Chimel v. California that dealt with “both arrest and search activities by local law enforcement officers” (Schmalleger, 2014, p. 130). Chimel was arrested in his home, in connection with the robbery of a coin shop, where coins from the robbery were found through a search at the time of his arrest (Schmalleger, 2014). Even though he was convicted of the robbery, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the search “became invalid when it went beyond the arrested person and the area subject to the person’s ‘immediate control’” (Schmalleger, 2014, p. 130). Because the coins were not found on or in the immediate area as Chimel and the officers did not have a warrant to search the residence, the search was deemed illegal. Chimel v. California laid out the lines for what the officers can search, “valid reasons for conducting the search”, and what makes a search illegal (Schmalleger, 2014, p. 130). This case made the lines clearer and more distinct when it comes to searches to keep important evidence from being thrown …show more content…
Though the exclusionary rule does not allow for the use of evidence found in illegal searches, there are times when the good-faith exception can allow the evidence to be used. The good-faith exception was instated through U.S. v. Leon and “modified the exclusionary rule to allow evidence that officers had seized in ‘reasonable good faith’ to be used in court” (Schmalleger, 2014, p. 131). A good-faith exception covers the idea that the search has been conducted correctly and that a warrant had been issued, but there may have been some type of clerical error that was not discovered until later (Schmalleger, 2014). A big part of having a valid warrant is also having enough probable cause or having “legal criteria are based on facts and circumstances that would cause reasonable person to believe that a particular other person has committed a specific crime” (Schmalleger, 2014, p. 132). The reason for the search has to be clear and not warrant any doubt. The reason for the search has to be along the lines of one or more reliable witness says that they saw the same thing or that there has been other evidence collected that can support a warrant to look for more evidence. Probable cause is simply removing any doubt that the search was illegally executed and provides support for why the search was

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