Legal Requirements for Obtaining a Search Warrant in the US Essay

Legal Requirements for Obtaining a Search Warrant in the US

A search warrant refers to a request bearing the name of an individual, authorized by a justice or other legal power and giving search powers to an officer for a specified asset and presents the findings before the judge (Nova Scotia v. MacIntyre, 1982). Even though most officers know permissions and procedures for search warrants, several legal pitfalls could discredit a search warrant, lead to rejection of cases or trigger obligation suggestion, binding the officers involved (Holcomb, 2003). Thus, officers require prior legal knowledge surrounding search warrants with the aim of concealing the evidence.  Throughout the processes, supporting Constitutional privileges is necessary for officers to discharge their duties ethically, morally and within legal confines devoid of pitfalls.

At all times, individuals have the right to be protected against unnecessary searches and seizures within their persons, houses, papers and impacts (Holcomb, 2003). It is worth noting that The Fourth Amendment prohibits irrational searches and seizures. A search is rational if a judge issues the warrant or under circumstances that necessitate search even without a warrant like a search for weapons after seizure. In case one lacks a “real desire of security” in whatever that is being searched, then The Fourth Amendment’s necessities are invalid.

Using technology to watch over an individual can infringe the Fourth Amendment rights of the searched individual. For instance, tapping a person’s phone calls is a common electronic observation, which the law has improved. Courts have however maintained that this could amount to search based on the Fourth Amendment since the law provides security rights in cases where the individual desires real protection. Courts have held that no one would want a government executor to tap phone calls during discussions. Therefore, an individual has the right of security if they legitimately show that the area under search is personal and or confidential. In this case, the law allows flexibility to tap discussions du ring penitentiary visits since it logically complies with jail security. With regard to the applicable to seizures and searches, the Fourth Amendment Warrant Clause applies to tapping. To get an e-observation warrant, one has to demonstrate the cards motive, depict the kind of discussion to tap, and specify the time.

Likewise, critical circumstances as with standard searches and seizures could invalidate acquisition of a warrant for law implementation. In case where an individual’s life is undermined, the national security is compromised or a plot to commit criminal acts, then the need for first getting warrant could be ignored.

Notably, Congress enacted a ranged of laws in 1986 regarding electronic observation and tapping under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). According to court interpretation of the Act, judges have the power to grant search warrants to law enforcement officers. Even though there are many established tests, the courts have maintained this position.

Additionally, the ECPA gives direction for people who come under illegal electronic investigations by the police.  If a person goes against the ECPA through their practices, the victim may sue the individual for compensatory harms, reformatory harms, and fair alleviation where fair easing could correct the offense. Here, the offended may only sue the person who conducted the tapping minus unbiased gatherings, which accept the recording as a duplicate.

With the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act of 2006, telecommunication companies are involved when the law adopts wiretap. This allows access to frameworks and offices that allows tracking communication of one subscriber without infringing on the security rights of an alternate subscriber.

Case law further allows gathering of intelligence from foreign nationals through wiretapping as long as the goal of the practice does not go beyond the existing summon. As a result, the Congress adopted the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in 1978. The Act gives the evidence before getting an observation warrant together with methods that could be used during investigations and with remote knowledge. The Acts privileges further cover American subjects, which relate to investigation.

Importantly, FISA’s procurements allow investigations under two conditions. Firstly, FISA allows the President to order warrantless wiretapping where there potential severe harm to the US or when private activities on the legislature does not threaten any American. In the second scenario, a warrant may be issued outside sagacity, which falls below the threshold of the primary condition. For FISA to obtain this warrant there must be evidence that the person to be tapped exerts external force and that an outside force could utilize the spot for tapping. FISA too has a court framework under the Department of Justice. “FISA courts” mainly work towards getting warrants, requests steering agreeability, and tests to consistence requests.

However, the Patriot Act made changes on electronic communication laws, including the ECPA and FISA expanding the law to combat terrorism in the US. Importantly, the Patriot Act quashed room for the president to issue warrantless search orders against non-US nationals even though it entrenched US residents leading First Amendment-related exercises. The alterations also saw saved voicemails put under conventional search and seizure laws and from more severe observation laws.

The Patriot Act also allowed wandering wiretaps though they remained disputable. A wandering wiretapping occurs when a court issues a search warrant to officers without identifying the interchanges bearer and other gathering that could be included in the faucet. This is essential to the FBI and brainpower gathering neighborhoods because terrorists could temper with PCs, cell phones and emails so fast after correspondence and realizing that the legislature had tapped the system. This concerned common emancipations exercises as they opined that it undermined the Particularity Clause of the Fourth Amendment.

In understanding the history the US, it is important to note that one of the aims of the American Revolution was to ensure that the rule of law takes predominance in the society. In fact, the principle of law is always equated to an old phrase; the US is a country of laws. Under the principle of law, standards, which make up the US legitimate framework and without arbitrary whims and impulses of the legislature advocate for government activities.

Another line of qualification exists between force and power. Law enforcement officers have the obligation to lead Proofreading-Editinginvestigations, make arrests, and use lethal force within the legal framework. Any action outside the law constitutes to criminal activity. A good example when Laurence Powell of LAPD was indicted for applying unnecessary force on Rodney King, who had been ceased for speeding. Powell repeatedly hit King even though he had complied and lay on the ground.

The amendment was important to create a protected cushion between Americans and the ruthless laws. The law has three parts. First, it allows protection of US nationals while in their persons, houses and impacts. The second part secures the first but baring unwarranted searches and seizures. The third section prohibits blind warrants and that warrants must identify the area of search and the person to seize.

Where there is a concealment hearing, Fourth Amendment inquiry will always arise throughout a criminal case. A plaintiff who asks for scrutiny of how police got confirmation against them and weigh if the investigation is protected provokes this kind of hearing. If the officers obtained the proof against the Fourth Amendment, then it is avoided during trial and is not presented to the jury (Moenssens, 2005). The Exclusionary Rule discourages officers from misconduct and protects litigants.

In cases where there thorough watchdog, the court is likely to prohibit any form of confirmation. First, it must establish if the Fourth Amendment applies to the case at hand. Before specific search or seizure offers ascent to Fourth Amendment assurance two conditions must be met. First, an administration executor should have led the search or seizure or as per government bearing. In addition, the activities everyone involved including state and law requirement officers and individuals will be liable to the limitation of the amendment. Bothering, wiretapping, and other exercises by private natives would miss Fourth Amendment insurance

Sometimes police perform and execute their obligation without warrants and most searches take place without warrants (Moenssens, 2005). This however does not give police permission to conduct unnecessary searches when a sensible desire of protection exists and there is no plausible reason.

A person has a right to deny police access to their premises if they appear asserting their intentions to conduct a search. However, sometimes people grant them entry to avoid being accused of meddling in investigations or avoid being hurt. Moreover, you have a right to say no to any search and you can put to task the officers to give a recognizable proof as to why they are in your area. The officers may as well read to you the warrant if they do not have a hard copy.

A police officer can obtain a search warrant by demonstrating to a judge or justice that a possible reason exists based on immediate data or prattle data. It is worth noting that the assets and person could be apprehended with search warrants. According to the law, it is easier to get a search warrant than finding evidence for an afterward sentencing. This is because the confirmation in the absence of a search warrant might be insufficient to convict.

In America, police do not require a warrant to search a car as long as there a likely causes to suggest that you intend to commit a crime. Considering the existing law, police may search travelers section, trunk, and car holders, potentially fit to hold the suspected object (Regini, 1999). In addition, officers do not require a warrant to conduct a search of a suspect’s external cover of the weapon if there is sensible suspicion for the interruption.  In some cases, police would not require warrant i.e. where the person in charge of the item or items gives assent for search.

In cases involving leased property, the proprietor has a right to deny access to the premise in the absence of a warrant from officers. Here, the same procedures for acquiring warrants involving property owners apply. In a few purviews, officers may search an inn room even minus warrant and consent of the visitor but permission from the lodge administrator. Police officers may further search a specific spot described in the warrant and seize goods portrayed. Police do not search property if the warrant says the lawn. While officers are restricted to the depicted area and items by the warrant, in their search process, they may stumble on a confirmation of wrongdoings and be forced to seize unlisted items.

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Holcomb, J. W. (March 2003). Obtaining Written Consent to Search. FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, 72.

Moenssens, A. A. (2005). Police Procedures /The Validity of Consent Searches. Retrieved August 14, 2006, Web site:

Nova Scotia v. MacIntyre, [1982] 1 S.C.R. 175 at p.1791982 CanLII 14

Regini, L. A. (July 1999).The Motor Vehicle Exception: When and Where to Search. FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin. 68, 27-33.