SEARCH & SEIZURE Should warrantless searches be allowed? Is it fair for a person to be pulled over for running a stop sign and have their automobile searched? The answer to these proposed questions are being decided by the Supreme Court. Under the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, individuals are protected from unreasonable searches and seizures. Currently, there are many cases in front of the Supreme Court regarding search and seizure. This paper will look at the pros and cons of warrantless searches including two cases in favor of and two cases against the issue in question. Although for the most part warrantless searches arent allowed there are a few instances where they are permissible. One example of where a warrant is not necessary is when the officer is in hot pursuit (Mann 131). This means that if an officer is chasing an individual on foot or by car, he does not need a warrant to search the individual. If the individual of whom the search is directed toward consents, a warrant is not necessary (131). If an emergency should arise, an officer does not need a warrant (131). If a lawful arrest has taken place, the officer does not need a warrant (131). Another way an officer does not need a warrant is if evidence of a crime is in plain view to the officer (131). Finally, if a delay would present a significant obstacle in the investigation, the officer does not need a warrant (131). Officers should not have the right to search cars or houses without a search warrant because it violates the Constitution (Rosen 17). Over the years, the Supreme Court has looked at warrantless searches regarding houses or buildings differently than warrantless searches in an automobile or airplane (17). Warrants are almost always needed to search a house or apartment because of the extreme amount of privacy these places have (17). An automobile, for example, can …
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