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					Search and Seizure

  The 4th Amendment
              4th amendment

   “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 probably
    cause, supported by Oath or affirmation,
    and particularly describing the place to be
    search and the persons or things to be
    seized.”
    Why have the 4th amendment?

   Protects your reasonable expectation of
    privacy.

       Dresser in your bedroom
       Dresser in your girlfriends bedroom
   Protection is against unreasonable searches.
   4th Amendment only limits the actions of
    government not private citizens.
       Your parents can search your room
       Your boss (unless you work for the government) can
        search your locker at work and take evidence to
        police.
    What does Constitution protect?

   Persons, Houses, Papers, Effects
       Clothes, wallet, body fluid?
       Apartment, front porch, mobile home, fields?
       Diary, books, e-mail, text messages?
       Backpack, i-pod, car?
       How do we enforce the 4th
            amendment?
   Exclusionary Rule – If court finds evidence
    was illegally obtained it cannot be used at
    trial against the defendant.
   Suppression Hearing – pre-trial procedure
    where defendant challenges the evidence
    against him/her based on a violation of
    his/her Constitutional rights.
       Searches with a warrant

   A search warrant is a court order allowing
    police to search a particular place looking
    for a particular item. (pg. 124)
How do you get a search warrant?

   Police submit an affidavit (pg. 123), sworn
    statement, outlining:
       Person
       Place
       Item to be seized
       Probable cause (why they want to search the
        house)
     Searches without a warrant

   Courts have recognized some situations
    when a search without a warrant can be
    legally conducted.
Search incident to lawful arrest

   Most common
   Lawfully arrested person and the area
    immediately surrounding the person
   Hidden weapons or evidence that might
    be destroyed.
              Stop and Frisk

   Reasonable belief that suspect is about to
    commit a crime and armed
   Police may stop and frisk for weapons
                     Consent

   Voluntarily agree.
   Once you consent to search you loose ALL
    RIGHT to challenge the evidence
   Usually only own property.
       Parent can consent to child’s property
       Roommate can consent to common areas
                     Plain View

   Object in plain view can be seized without
    a warrant.
   Police must be where they have a right to
    be.
       Ex. Marijuana plant sitting in living room
        window.
                Hot pursuit

   No need for warrant when police chase a
    suspect into a building.
         Emergency Situations

   Smell smoke, hear screams
   Police enter building to try to rescue
    someone and see illegal items in plain
    sight.
     Border and airport searches

   Customs agents at border don’t need a
    warrant or probable cause.
   However searches must be random and
    searches that are “intrusive” require
    probable cause.
               Vehicle Searches

   Pretextual stops
       Generally illegal
       The police must first have a articulable reason
        to stop the car, and then have other suspicion
        to search following the stop.
       They must follow through with the first
        reason why they stopped you.
   Federal Law:
       Vehicle exception
       No requirement for a warrant


   Pennsylvania
       Greater protection from searches
       Warrantless searches require probable cause
        + other “emergency” situation
             Probable Cause

   Occupant committed a felony, or
   Vehicle used in the commission of a
    felony, or…
   Evidence of a crime concealed in vehicle,
    or…
   Accessible weapons in the vehicle.
       “Emergency Situations”

   Likely evidence will be driven away.
   Cannot secure scene while obtaining a
    warrant.
         Guidelines for Vehicle Consent
                    Searches
   Consent search
       Police must first return paperwork
       Tell person they are free to go
       Police can then ask if they can search
       The key is that the person being asked for
        consent cannot feel forced

				
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posted:9/10/2011
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