Warrantless Searches Essay

1329 Words 6 Pages
When someone closes the door to their house and locks it, they get a sense of feeling of privacy and safety as if that door could stop anything or anyone from coming through it. As a citizen of the United States you were guaranteed this right when the Bill of Rights was written and passed. The Fourth Amendment protects you from any unreasonable search and seizures, no warrants shall be issued without probable cause, supported by Oath. There are many different types of warrants and many exceptions to when a warrant is and is not needed for search and seizure.
Back in the early 1900s police officers did a lot of things that we would consider in today’s age as abuse of power, and police brutality. Freemont Weeks exploited this into his favor
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Warrantless searches include: consent, plain-view, search incident prior to an arrest, exigent circumstances, automobile exception, and hot pursuit (Justia: Criminal Law, n.d). If consent is given voluntarily by a person then the area may be searched without a warrant. For example, if police want to search someone’s backpack and the person agrees to them searching there is no need for a search warrant. Plain-view is like stated earlier if an object is out in plain sight then the item can be seized as evidence. However, it must be completely in plain sight, an officer is not allowed to move an item to gain access or see another. Search prior to an arrest is primarily for the safety of the officer, an officer is allowed to search the person and immediate area for anything that could possibly harm the officer. This is usually done after the suspect has been put into handcuffs. The officer is looking for anything that can harm themselves or others. If an officer believes that a person is using their vehicle to hide contraband or weapons they may search that vehicle. For example, if you tried crossing the border from Mexico back into the United States and the officer at the border believes that you are smuggling contraband back into the United States, that officer has every right to dismember then rebuild whatever he believes you are using on the vehicle to hide the contraband. If an officer is in “hot pursuit” of a criminal an officer may entire any building or house, once inside they may search the entirety. If an officer is chasing a criminal in a vehicle and then the suspect flees his car, runs into somebody’s house and hides, the cop has every right to search every room in that house until the suspect is found and

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