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American Constitution Law 2 J - Essay Example

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American Constitution Law 2 J

Reasonableness of a search depends on the balancing of the interests of individuals and public safety.
In Terry v Ohio (1868), the police officer stopped and frisked three suspicious persons after watching them for some time moving around at a place suspiciously. The police did not have a warrant. In the search, they could see two revolvers from the persons of the suspicious people. It was the case of the defendant Terry that the evidence was not admissible as it was obtained from a warrantless search mandated by the Fourth Amendment. The Supreme Court held that the warrantless search was valid since there was a reasonable suspicion aroused by the conduct of the persons concerned on a street (Mason & Stephenson, 2012).
Search and arrest warrant governed by the Fourth Amendment should be backed by a probable cause that can include hearsay evidence, reliable witness report, and the officer’s own logic and experience. Hence, unless there is a probable cause, court will not issue a warrant to search or arrest a suspect. For search warrant to be issued, the court must be satisfied that the officer’s description in the warrant application about the items connected to the crime he is investigating with the justification of the belief about their existence and place at which the items could be found. In respect of an arrest warrant, the warrant application should state and provide sufficient evidence and logic to substantiate the suspects involvement in a particular crime under investigation. Further, there must be provided very specific information on a particular target sought to be arrested or searched. Hence, a random or generalized arrests or searches are not permissible under the Fourth Amendment (Mason & Stephenson, 2012).
Therefore, a search warrant should have the full address, specific room or place at the given address, with the objects and papers and information to be ...Show more


Fourth Amendment prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures of people’s “persons, houses, papers, and effects” without a warrant that a police cannot obtain without a warrant followed by his oath or affirmation, and especially with a description of the place the police…
Author : mosesritchie
American Constitution Law 2 J essay example
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