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Crime and Society - Essay Example

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Student’s Full of Submission (day month year) Question 1 Summarize the law as it currently stands regarding search and seizure as applied to a home and to a vehicle. Do the different requirements achieve the goals of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution?…
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Crime and Society
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Download file to see previous pages Police officers knock on the door of the homeowner to show the warrant before doing the search. The areas of the house to be searched and the extent of the search depend on the scope and purpose stated in the warrant. All items seized that fall within the scope of the warrant can be used as evidence. There are exceptions to the requirement of a search warrant. One is if police officers were freely granted permission by the homeowner or somebody with authority to permit a search. Another is when a crime is being committed inside a house or a person being chased by the police is seen entering a home, then officers can enter the home without a warrant. Last is the valid entry of law enforcement officers inside a house during emergencies, such as a fire or life-and-death situations. Any items seized without a warrant and do not fall under the exceptions may not be accepted as evidence in court. There is lesser expectation of privacy in cars. While obtaining a warrant and seeking consent still apply, there is a wider room for exceptions when it comes to vehicles. The need for a warrant depends on expectations on the mobility of the vehicle. Searching a car parked inside a garage with the engine off and the owner not likely to take off at any moment may require a warrant. Warrantless searches usually coincide with the flagging of cars based on actual violations of law or some reasonable suspicion. Checkpoint stops are valid. Traffic violation and non-functioning car safety features are valid causes for stopping vehicles. Once the car is stopped, police officers may request for a driver’s license and car registration. If there is no suspicion of illegal contraband inside the car or of any suspicious behavior of car passengers, police officers may only seize illegal items inside the vehicle that are in plain view. Illegal drugs on the dashboard, passenger seat or backseat that the police officer saw while talking with the driver could be seized for use as a cause for arrest and as evidence in a subsequent case. Police officers may require an explanation from the driver or passengers for any suspicious items or behavior such as by asking for a gun permit for a gun lying on the seat or dashboard. If there is reasonable suspicion of contraband or criminal activity or if a good reason exists to think that a person is armed and dangerous, police officers may do a pat down and/or protective search of the compartment for weapons and/or search the compartment or trunk of the car. Search of a person and the vehicle that he/she is driving at the time of arrest is valid. The intention of the fourth amendment is to balance individual right to privacy with the responsibility of law enforcement towards securing peace and order. As such, the goals of the fourth amendment are to ensure the reasonableness of search and seizures conducted by law enforcement officers and to require law enforcement officers to get warrants in particular situations. With regards to the rules on home search and seizure, these appear to satisfy the goals of the fourth amendment by requiring the use of warrants for searches and seizures as the general rule but providing exceptions to make room for the fulfillment of law enforcement duties. In relation to car searches and seizures, the rules provide flexibility for more exceptions because of the diverse situations involving car searches. As such, jurisprudence sometimes shift more towards the right to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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