Search and Seizure

Topics: Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Searches and seizures, Frisking Pages: 5 (1671 words) Published: April 4, 2014
As the United States formed as a republic its need to form laws to protect its people became an evident need. Along with the powers to be at control of these laws, there were also limitations on what the government could and could not do to protect the people from the government as well. One of these controlling factors is the Fourth Amendment, which protects our citizens and visitors from an array of items. A few in particular would be; right to privacy, search, and seizure. The Fourth Amendment also sets the tone for how arrests are affected and how reasonableness is weighed on heavily. The Fourth Amendment grants American citizens protection from illegal searches and seizures. The Fourth Amendment is designed to protect the right to privacy and freedom from arbitrary invasions. In order to seek restitution for a violation of the Fourth Amendment, the plaintiff must have standing. Standing requires that the plaintiff had an expectation of privacy at the searched location. Standing requires that both the subjective and the objective tests are met. The subjective test requires that the plaintiff actually expected privacy while the objective test checks whether the plaintiff would have expected privacy (Fourth Amendment). The Fourth Amendment protects against unlawful searches and seizures, but what exactly are a search and a seizure? As per the Legal Dictionary search and seizure is an “examination of a person's premises (residence, business or vehicle) by law enforcement officers looking for evidence of the commission of a crime, and the taking (seizure and removal) of articles of evidence (such as controlled narcotics, a pistol, counterfeit bills, and a blood-soaked blanket). The basic question is whether the search and seizure were "unreasonable" under the 4th Amendment to the Constitution (applied to the states under the 14th Amendment), which provides: "The right of people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated." Thus, searches and seizures must be under the authority of a search warrant or when the officer has solid facts that give him/her "probable cause" to believe there was evidence of a specific crime on the premises but no time to get a warrant. Evidence obtained in violation of the Constitution is not admissible in court, nor is evidence traced through such illegal evidence.”

Once a search and seizure of a premise and property has been completed, it is the job of law enforcement to gain the status of probable cause to affect an arrest on the individual(s) for crimes related to the investigation. An arrest as defined to The Legal Dictionary is “to take or hold a suspected criminal with legal authority, as by a law enforcement officer. An arrest may be made legally based on a warrant issued by a court after receiving a sworn statement of probable cause to believe there has been a crime committed by this person, for an apparent crime committed in the presence of the arresting officer, or upon probable cause to believe a crime has been committed by that person.” Arrest defined by Utah State Code reads as follows: 77-7-2. Arrest by peace officers.

A peace officer may make an arrest under authority of a warrant or may, without warrant, arrest a person: (1) (a) for any public offense committed or attempted in the presence of any peace officer; and (b) as used in this Subsection (1), "presence" includes all of the physical senses or any device that enhances the acuity, sensitivity, or range of any physical sense, or records the observations of any of the physical senses; (2) when the peace officer has reasonable cause to believe a felony or a class A misdemeanor has been committed and has reasonable cause to believe that the person arrested has committed it; (3) when the peace officer has reasonable cause to believe the person has committed a public offense, and there is reasonable cause for believing the person may: (a) flee...

References: Border Search. (2014). Retrieved from
Fourth Amendment. (Nd). Retrieved from
Reasonableness. (2014). Retrieved from
Officer Arrest (2014). Retrieved from Utah Code 77-7-1
Hill, K. (2012). Arrest. Retrieved from
Hill, K. (2012). Search and Seizure. Retrieved from
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