What You Need To Know About Search and Seizure

What You Need To Know About Search and Seizure

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What You Need To Know About Search and Seizure

“Search
and seizure,” that which is defined as the examination and investigation
of material assets of a person in order to garner causes for illegality, takes
its origins from the
 Fourth Amendment of the United States
Constitution. Under the Constitution, unreasonable search and seizure is
unlawful. In pursuit of such a belief, the Constitution sets forth that search
and seizure be accompanied by arrest warrants that are both sanctioned by a
court, as well as supported by “probable cause”. This term may be
explained as the belief within reason that a crime has occurred.

Although the Fourth Amendment
does apply to that of search and seizure headed by the Government, those done
by private individuals or other parties separate from the Government do not
fall under its specifications, and therefore, may not be protected by it.
However, State governments have attained coverage according to the Fourth Amendment,
by way of the case of Mapp v. Ohio
. A
“Due Process Clause” was the result of this specific Supreme Court
case.

In order to adequately ascertain what unreasonable
search and seizure entails, we must first break down both terms that comprise
this type of action. “Search” was highlighted in the Supreme Court
case of Katz v. United States, where the Court ruled that two qualifications
must exist in order for it to be an applicable term. These include that an
individual assumes their privacy when concerning that which may have been
searched for, and that society, as a whole, maintains the belief in the
reasonable nature of such an expectation.

In the
aforementioned Supreme Court case, these specifications existed, and therefore,
the Court ruled that a search had occurred. Scrutiny of this term’s
qualifications is important because if they are found absent, individuals will
not be able to take the shelter of the Fourth Amendment. Therefore, they will
have no case, even if they are overtaken by the encroachment of officers not
possessing warrants. Seizure is, then, the taking of any items in connection to
an individual.

Now that we have acquired a specific understanding
of such terms, we may turn to a description of what unreasonable search and
seizure entails. Such an action may be depicted as the search of an individual’s
dwelling or other areas related to them, as well as the seizure of any of their
items without the production of a warrant and also without that of appropriate
probable cause.

One area of
interest that concerns such an unconstitutional act as unreasonable search and
seizure is that of the growing drug war. Often, in an effort to crack down on
such illegal drug transactions, law enforcement conducts numerous acts of
search and seizure, some of which may actually be illegal and unconstitutional.
In addition, cases of racial profiling also take advantage of the Fourth Amendment,
as individual ethnic background may be used as a means for unreasonable search
and seizure.

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