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Search Warrant - Essay Example

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Search Warrant

There are two types of warrants, arrest warrants and search warrants, although arrest warrants are rarely used or required. Although search warrants are often used, especially in cases where there is an extensive investigation, the Court has broadened the circumstances under which the police may conduct warrantless searches. This consideration is reflected in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 41(c), which states, "It shall command the officer to search, within a specified period of time not to exceed 10 days" (Bloom, 2003, p. 91).
In order to allow search warrants, judges or magistrates base their probable cause determination on sworn affidavits signed by police officers. This provides a written record if it is necessary to review the probable cause determination. A reviewing court will only review that information that was presented to the magistrate at the time the warrant was issued. Some jurisdictions, including the federal system, permit the issuance of a warrant on sworn oral communications, even if communicated by a telephone. In this situation, the judge will place the person applying for the warrant under oath and record the conversation when possible and if it is not possible to record the conversation then the judge will create a longhand verbatim record. According to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 41(c) the recording or the longhand record must be filed with the court (Bloom, 2003, p. 91). Since the government has to respond to the burden in hearings on warrantless searches, the police officer's testimony serves as the beginning point for a trial court's consideration of the constitutionality of the police action (Larry, 1999).
Although traditional search warrants are supported by probable cause, lower courts have supported the issuance of anticipatory warrants. At the time of issuance, these warrants are not supported by traditional probable cause that a particular item is at a particular place instead, they are issued on a showing that a particular item will be at a particular place. This situation usually exists when illegal imports is in transit and is about to be delivered to a particular place. The Court, however, has not dealt specifically with anticipatory warrants.

In the following situations, a law enforcement officer does not require a search warrant to conduct a search:
Situation One: A law enforcement officer when spot something in context with the plain view doctrine where he has a legal right to seize, does not require a search warrant to seize the object, evidence or contraband. However there are some criteria to be followed that includes 1) The place where an officer is conducting a search, must be legal and visible for him 2) In order to apply according to the plain view, the officer must not be using any advance technology and 3) Plain view search requires any discovery without a warrant is to be taken by chance.

The plain view doctrine supports 'open fields doctrine' that states that any open pastures and areas related to it are eligible to be searched legally by an officer even without obtaining any search warrant. In the context of search warrant, the Fourth Amendment plays a ...Show more

Summary

A common perception in American society is that police officers require a warrant if they want to search for information which they believe is related to criminal activity. Exclusionary rule suggests that any evidence gained in an illegal search cannot be used to convict someone of a crime…
Author : jacobszella
Search Warrant essay example
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