In the United States, we are entitled to certain freedoms. Freedom to come and go as we please, freedom to eat what we want, go where we want, so on and so forth. But when it comes to the government, there are limits to certain privacies. For example, when a search warrant is justified, police officers are allowed to search YOU, your home, car, boat, office, or other personal property in order to look for evidence of a crime. It offers the question, what rules do LEOs have to follow when it comes to search and seizure? Because after all – search and seizure laws of the Fourth Amendment are all about privacy.
A few notes:
• A search or seizure is reasonable if the police have a warrant from a judge based on probable cause.
• Certain intrusions are more severe than others, and each type of search or seizure must meet certain requirements to be deemed reasonable.
• There is no expectation of privacy when an item or location is in plain view. If an Officer pulls over a person driving a car, and notices a weapon on the floor, there’s been no search under the Fourth Amendment. It’s not a reasonable location that bears privacy with respect to the gun, because it was in plain sight.
In general, search and seizure laws are pretty straight forward. They are necessary for police officers to protect and serve our community. But that doesn’t mean it should be misused. The Constitution was made to protect the people, so if anyone believes they have been the victim of unreasonable search and seizure, they should contact an experienced civil rights attorney to discuss their options.