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What are the rules of a search warrant?

Search warrants are used to give law enforcement official more freedom to enforce the law.

Because of the implications of a search and seizure, and the fact that it invades a person's privacy, law enforcement officials must get permission from a judge before they can enter what might turn out to be an innocent person's property.

Search warrants and the Forth Amendment

Obtaining search warrants can be quite controversial, because many argue that search warrants are in violation of the Forth Amendment. The Forth Amendment states that all people have a right to be secure in their homes and with their possessions. Therefore, it is only permissible for search warrants to be issued in valid circumstances, and with good reason. They must meet a certain set of requirements in order to be in line with the Forth Amendment.

What are the exceptions?

The Forth Amendment is only applicable when a person has a genuine expectation of privacy on the property of possession. This expectation of privacy is tested by asking whether the property owner believed that his or her possessions would or should remain private, and whether society in general would think that these possessions should remain private.

The fact that there are many exceptions to the law when it comes to search warrants means that the permissibility can be open to interpretation. Therefore, if you were subject to a search and seizure that you believe was an unreasonable invasion of privacy or that was without cause, you should carry out research to see how the law applies to you.

Source: Findlaw, "Search Warrant Requirements," accessed Dec. 06, 2017

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