375 #5 - An Introduction to the Fourth Amendment Two...

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An Introduction to the Fourth Amendment Two Clauses
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The Fourth Amendment contains two basic clauses The reasonableness clause The warrant clause
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The reasonableness clause proscribes unreasonable searches and seizures The warrant clause requires that no warrants be issued without probable cause
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Four Important Issues in Fourth Amendment Jurisprudence Pre-fourth amendment analysis Reasonableness Warrant requirement Scope of police action
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Basic Terminology The Fourth Amendment protects “person, houses, papers, and effects” from unreasonable searches and seizures The term person describes individual people, whether citizens or not “Person” also refers to the individual as a whole, both internal and external
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Houses Includes any structure a person can occupy on a temporary or long term basis A hotel room is considered a house for Fourth Amendment purposes
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Papers and Effects Papers and effects include all conceivable personal items Business records, diaries, memos, and similar documents are considered papers Effects include such personal items containers, purses, luggage, briefcases, cars, clothing, weapons, and any tangible piece of property that a person possess
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Framework for Analyzing the Fourth Amendment If the police activity in question does not amount to a search or seizure, the protections granted by the Fourth Amendment do not apply This is one of the first important inquiries in any analysis of the Fourth Amendment The second inquiry focuses on the justification required for conducting a search or seizure
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To define when a search takes place, three important factors need to be considered 1. whether the presumed search is a product of government action 2. whether the intrusion violated society’s “reasonable expectation of privacy” 3. Whether it infringes on an individual’s “legitimate expectation of privacy”
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Seizure has a dual meaning First the fruits of searches are “seized” Example: if a search warrant authorizes officers to look for televisions at 123 Oak Street an, upon service of the warrant, officers find stolen television in that location The TVs may be seized
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Seizures not limited to tangible evidence Second meaning of the term seizure refers to seizures of persons. Arrests are the most common form of seizure But other seizures of persons can take place as well
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When a Search Occurs A search can be defined as the act of looking for evidence (police looking for narcotics during the service of a search warrant) Not every act of looking for evidence can be considered a search within the meaning of the fourth Amendment
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A nonsearch occurs when the police look for evidence but their activity cannot be considered a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment
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To distinguish a search from a nonsearch we need to focus on 1. who is looking for evidence 2. where they are looking for it
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This note was uploaded on 03/04/2012 for the course CJ 375 taught by Professor Jimcluphf during the Spring '12 term at Boise State.

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375 #5 - An Introduction to the Fourth Amendment Two...

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