Criminal Law Essay

Submitted By Jazzie380
Words: 2389
Pages: 10

Are Searches and Seizures Legally Performed
Shayna L. Alexander
Saint Leo University

The topic of whether searches and seizures are legally performed can raise major issues. There are several of people that will view this in different perspectives. Searches and seizures are legally performed in some cases, but there is some where the search and seizures was done inappropriately causing the case to be dismissed. Searches and seizures laws are sometimes misunderstood by people because there are hidden clauses that people do not understand. This can and will lead them to sometimes helping law enforcement officials prosecute themselves of crimes that they could have gotten out of. I will elaborate on how the searches and seizures are legally performed, including how they are not legally performed, and the Amendments that are tied into searches and seizures.
First, I will elaborate on what searches and seizures really are. Searches are an invasion of privacy and can be applied to several doctrines like the trespass doctrine, which is the Fourth Amendment doctrine that requires physical intrusions into a “constitutionally protected area” to qualify as a search(Samaha, 2012,2008) . And the privacy doctrine was a doctrine that was first suggested in a dissent in a Prohibition Era case(Samaha, 2012,2008, p. 53). The privacy doctrine is a doctrine that holds that the Fourth Amendment protects persons, not places when the persons have an exception of privacy that society is prepared to recognize(Samaha, 2012,2008, p. 564). However these doctrines all have some type of similarity because they all include regards of searches. The searches that are conducted have to be done appropriately to be upheld in the court of law. But with the privacy doctrine it ties into a person’s privacy whether it is they are violating it or just intruding in on it. For example, placing a wire tap on a telephone to listen at the conversation can be a violation if no search warrant was issued. This means that the evidence heard can and will not be allowed in court because it was obtained illegally. This is something that has taken place, like the case on Olmstead v. U.S., this case is where the phone was wired and there was no search warrant in place for this. But the Fourth Amendment does not protect on all invasions of privacy, because some can be justified in the court of law under reasonable guidelines. So this all falls under whether it is performed legally or not. The legal aspect is if the search was done in the correct manner and that all guidelines where followed, because it does not take but one screw up to have the whole search thrown out by the courts. A search can also be done under the plain view doctrine because this applies when an officer sees something illegal and seize it. This can be done because I just witness this type of incident, where law enforcement officials stopped this vehicle and when the officer was talking to the driver he saw drug paraphernalia on the floor of the back seat. He asked all of them to step out of the car and asked them were there any drugs or weapons located inside the car. They answered no! But there was drugs inside so he did not have to have a search warrant because it was in plain view of the officer so he seized it and placed them all under arrest until they admitted as to who drugs it belonged to. The other plain view doctrine applies if they are searching and for instance a gun or knife is laying on the floor of the apartment they can seize it because it was in plain view and they did not have to open nor search through any items to retrieve this. But the plain view doctrine can be very tricking to some because the use of telescopes and airplanes can sometime be a violation of the person Fourth Amendment rights. At has also been stated that the Fourth Amendment does not protect what officers can discover through their ordinary sense in public places(Samaha, 2012,2008, p. 71). And with abandon…