Laws are created to maintain equality, stability, and structure. To maintain order in society, laws are established as is punishment for disobeying these laws. Laws are broken down by classification and to some degree, may interact with one another. Substantive law sets the ground rules for individuals whereas procedural law is the policy on how to carry out the rules. Criminal law is for the protection of society and civil law is to serve the purpose of compensating someone for a loss due to the actions of another person. Common law and statutory law regulate businesses and individuals and are known as primary sources of law. These laws are managed at federal, state, and local levels within the United States.
The Fourth Amendment is important to businesses because it requires obtaining sufficient evidence in the investigation of a criminal or administrative offense before a warrant can be used to search premises or access documentation. The Fifth Amendment allows individuals to remain silent during an investigation. According to Melvin (2011), when the government is seeking certain business records, individual corporate officers and employees are entitled to Fifth Amendment protection when facing a criminal investigation by the police, or more commonly in a business context, administrative agencies investigating a possible criminal offense.
Dealing with government agencies in the business of naval ship repair, it becomes clear on how the Fourth Amendment plays a significant role when state and local agencies request documentation when investigating environmental or safety incidents. If there is a criminal offense or an administrative violation, the company can be found in violation which could have a negative impact on the organization.
Melvin, S.P. (2011). The legal environment of business: A managerial approach: Theory to practice. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
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