This forum is a perfect relation from last week’s discussion. A search warrant is a written order that has been granted by a judge, giving police the authority to search a specific place, item or person without the consent of the individual (Findlaw, 2019). As discussed last week, search warrants are on the basis of reliable information or belief from law enforcement that there is probable cause that deemed suspicion or evidence of the criminal activity (Legal Information Institute, n.d.). Under the Fourth Amendment, citizens are protected from unreasonable searches and seizure but probable cause is when law enforcement are allowed to search the specified place of evidence. Therefore, making the search warrant required under the Fourth Amendment, subject to few exceptions due to probable cause (Legal Information Institute, n.d.). Additionally, if the suspect denies consent then law enforcement agencies are required to obtain that search warrant and provide a judge written statements under oath for reasons needing the warrant.
Now demonstrating the facts or beliefs of probable cause to a judge can be a difficult process. Every judge is different and may not deem probable cause of the warrant being requested. In caselaw Coolidge v. Hampshire, a judge and/or magistrate may issue a warrant which must be neutral and detached capable of determining if probable cause exists (Legal Information Institute, n.d.). As mentioned, law enforcement must demonstrate an “affidavit” which is a written oath or statement of the facts. This includes having specific details of the person, place or subject needing to be searched with reasonable effort (Findlaw, 2019).
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