Search Warrants

Topics: Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Police, Searches and seizures Pages: 5 (1680 words) Published: July 8, 2012
Search Warrants
Melissa Eggleston
American Inter Continental University

This paper will discuss many factors of search warrants, it will discuss the process by which a search warrant can be sought and issued, emphasizing the Fourth Amendment requirements. This paper will also explain probable cause and the standard by which the cause is met. Also, it will describe and discuss at least 2 types of searches that do not require a warrant. Also being discussed is the rationale for allowing warrant less searches, if the reasons are persuasive and if all searches require the probable cause exist or the exceptions.

Search Warrants
Search warrants are issued around the world when there is a probable cause and it requires one. If an officer was just to walk into your home and search it without permission or a search warrant, not only would they get in trouble but anything that they might find could be thrown out in court and will not count against you. Sometimes there are even searches that will not require a search warrant which means anything that they do find can get you into trouble and can be used against you in court. Search Warrant and Fourth Amendment

According to the Fourth Amendment, in order for the law enforcement or anyone along those lines, a person must be secure in their homes and in their persons against unreasonable searches and seizures (Schmalleger, 2012). The Fourth Amendment states “ The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized” (Schmalleger, 2012). The Fourth amendment became effective December 15, 1791 by Congress. A search warrant authorizes police officials to search a particular place of evidence (LII, 2010). An officer may not search a residence without the owners permission. The only person that can issue a search warrant is a judge (LII,2010) In order to obtain a warrant, an officer must show probable cause and believe that a search is justified. (LII,2010) In order for an officer to support their showings they must have a sworn statement, describe in detail the place they will be searching and the items that will be seized (LII, 2010). When deciding if the warrant should be issued or not the judge must consider the all of the circumstances (LII, 2010). The judge may restrict when and how the police may conduct the search warrant when issuing one (LII, 2010). There does not have to be any sort of crime committed in order for officers to seek a warrant according to the Fourth Amendment (LII, 2010). They must however show probable cause that the sought-after evidence is there (LII, 2010). Probable cause

Probable cause is when officers believe that a person has committed a crime based on factual evidence and not just on suspicion (probable cause, 2007). The probable cause sources can be placed into four (4) categories; 1) observation, 2) expertise, 3) information, and 4) circumstantial evidence (probable cause, 2007). Observation is the information that officers have obtained through sight, smell or hearing. Observation is also used when an officer detects that a familiar pattern of criminal activity contains suspicious behavior (probable cause, 2007). Expertise are the skills that officers are trained in, such as being able to read gang graffiti and tattoos, detecting tools that are used in burglaries or knowing when certain movements or gestures indicate that criminal activity is about to occur (probable cause, 2007). Information are things such as statements that have been provided by witnesses and victims, informants, and announcements made through police bulletins and broadcasts (probable cause, 2007). Finally, circumstantial evidence is indirect evidence that implies that a crime has occurred...

References: Crime & Punishment. (1999). Warrant less Motor Vehicle Searches: No Exigent Circumstances Required. Retrieved on June 24, 2012. From:
Korn, L.M. (2008). Search and Seizure. Retrieved on June 24, 2012 from:
LaMance, K. (1999-2012) Searches made without Warrant. Retrieved on June 24,2012 from:
Law Enforcement (2012) Searches of Vehicles retrieved on June 24, 2012 from:
LLI, (2010). Search Warrant. Retrieved on June 24, 2012 from:
Probable Cause (2007) What is probable cause? Retrieved on June 24, 2012 from:
Schmalleger, F. (2012). Criminal Justice: A Brief Introduction, (9th Ed.). (Online Version) Retrieved from AIU Online CRJS101-1203A-17: Foundations of Criminal Justice Systems.
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