General Searches

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General Searches

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General Searches

Determine when an officer can and cannot search and seize according to the fourth amendment


Search and Seizure

Examination of persons or places for the discovery of property stolen or otherwise unlawfully obtained or held. Evidence of the commission of crime.



Amendment- right to be secure in person, house, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures


Abandoned Property

Highly incriminating evidence may often be found in a wastebasket, trash receptacles, garbage barrels, this is known as Abandoned Property

Abel v. United States

California v. Greenwood



amendment does not allow warrantless searches, but does not stop warrantless searching through exposed garbage to the public


Administrative Searches for Government Buildings

Warrantless searches or inspections as part of an administrative function

Administering a search on someone visiting someone in prison

In case of weapons


Body Cavity Search

Is an intrusive search.

Includes a degree of probing and touching the Anus and/or Vagina

Try to find Contraband- usually additional evidence of an illegal act

Warrant is needed. Authorized by a judge not an officer.

Must be conducted in a medical facility by a physician

Limit Humiliation





Strip Searches

Inspection of a naked person without scrutiny of his or her body cavities

Probable cause to believe that a weapon, or item of evidentiary value, and or contraband

Usually done by supervising officer or commanding officer

Done by same sex and in a private room

Can not check cavities but can search more if signs show weapons just outside of the anus

Officer can separate the prisoners’ buttocks


Consent Searches

Individual gives his or her consent for the police to conduct a search of his or her property

Voluntary Surrendering- will be analyzed by the court system (Nothing to hide)

For consent- 2 conditions

Owner, possessor, control of property, must consent,

Must be freely and voluntarily done

Person can end search anytime they want, unless evidence is found

Plain View- seeing contraband or something out of the ordinary

Searches are limited to the size of the contraband

If something thing is found


then they can be charged


Search Incident to an Arrest

If the person is arrested they can do a warrantless search.

Search has to do with arrest

Find weapon

Stop someone from destroying evidence

Immediate Surrounding Area- area from arrestee were evidence can be found, or destroyed

Check the entire property if it is necessary- Commonwealth v. Flowers

South Dakota v.


- arrest unlawful so is the search

No evidence permitted


Stop-and-Frisk or Searches

External Pat-down

Based on person, place, time, and location

Officer can Frisk if:

Contraband/ Weapon

Bulky clothing can be searched underneath

No pretext to search for evidence


Prevent themselves as a Police Officer

Announce purpose for Frisk

Edge of a hand or the back of the palm



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