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Searches and Seizures - Essay Example

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Searches and Seizures Name Institution Date Introduction Our system of law has firmly ingrained that searches that are conducted outside the judicial process and without any prior approval by a magistrate or judge are per se unreasonable (not permissible) under the Fourth Amendment though this is subject to only few established exceptions…
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Searches and Seizures
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Download file to see previous pages A search usually occurs when an expectation of privacy that is considered by the society as reasonable is infringed by a government employee. A seizure is the interference of the possessory interest in property of a person. The Fourth Amendment protects a person against any search and seizure which that violates their reasonable expectation of privacy (LaFave, 2004). A reasonable expectation of privacy exists if one expects privacy and if the expectation is thought to be legitimate by the entire society. The Fourth Amendment Mary Ellis was awakened on Saturday morning and finds her neighbor Mr. Clyde Stevens lying unresponsive on the floor. She calls 911 and the police and EMS personnel arrived minutes later and Mr. Stevens is pronounced dead from a large butcher knife in his back. Crime scene investigators then started investigating William’s bedroom as the crime scene without any search warrant. The investigations started shortly after the arrival of the police officers. The investigators took charge of the investigation and conducted an exhaustive warrantless search on the Mary Ellis apartment which included development of blood fingerprint, photographing the print and recovery of a blood sample of William for a DNA analysis. The Fourth Amendment prohibits any government official from searching a home without any warrant which must include specific information like the name and address of the person. The Fourth Amendment requires all searches and seizures to be reasonable. If the search and seizure are declared unreasonable, then the police cannot use the evidence obtained from the search and seizure in criminal trials. Warrants are issues under a probable cause which should be supported by Oath or Affirmation which describes the place to be searched and the persons and things that need to be seized (Chamelin, 2003). A judge can only find a probable cause though the examination of the totality of all the circumstances presented. However, the police can enter a private residence without a warrant if an officer enters a building or a place of residence to assist in any form of emergency if the officer receives consent to search the residence without a warrant, if an officer has placed the person under arrest and if the search is administrative in nature which is done for the purposes of law reinforcement. The police can also enter a private residence without a warrant if they suspect that the house harbors a person carrying or in control of firearms illegally and are not in proper control of the arm and may injure or kill a person as a result of their mental condition (LaFave, 2004). They also enter a private residence without a warrant if they have a reasonable ground to suspect a firearm offence if the house contains illegal drugs and if someone in the house is at large after escaping from prison. The legal rights of the police to access the Ellis household The search done on Ellis household is not constitutionally permissibl ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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