Police Requirements for Certain Tasks

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Police Requirements for Certain Tasks

By | November 2008
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Explain what would be required of police to do the following:

Search a home suspected of containing marijuana:

If the police suspect that a home contains marijuana, they must first obtain a search warrant under the Fourth Amendment, unless there are exigent circumstances such as destruction of evidence, hot pursuit, or some other exception that applies.

Although the Fourth Amendment protects a man’s home, neither the home nor all the surrounding objects are beyond the capacity of being searched under proper circumstances. If the police officers possess a search warrant to search a particular home, the warrant may extend to include vehicles parked within the structure and those parked nearby if the objects of the search warrant could be hidden within the vehicle(s). Since the goal of a search is to find something, then if the vehicle(s) were not searched it could become frustrating and since vehicles could store marijuana, then a vehicle(s) should be searched found on or near the property or home just like other personal property would be searched.

Modern technology has given new methods to search humans, buildings, homes, and vehicles. Marijuana is usually cultivated with high-intensity lamps; police can conduct an infrared scan that creates a thermal image of the outside of the home that can measure heat emanating from the interior. In the case of Kyllo v. United States, 533 U.S. 27 (2001), this modern technology was used. The information gathered from the infrared scan was used and can be used with other evidence to produce probable cause for a search warrant. In the case of Kyllo, the evidence obtained from the search warrant was used against Kyllo at his trial for growing marijuana, and the court of appeals affirmed the conviction, but the Supreme Court of the United States reversed the decision.

Even with this new technology that allows government access to information radiating from the home, the Supreme Court of the United States has...
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