And the laws of many states authorize police to arrest drivers for minor traffic violations. The legality of a search, however, always depends on the facts of the case.
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CHAPTER 5. SEARCH AND SEIZURE :: Indiana Code :: US Codes and Statutes :: US Law :: Justia
Fourth Amendment protections—and their limitations—as applied to cars and other vehicles. Here are the basics of how courts determine whether a vehicle search was lawful. No matter what an officer says, you have an absolute right to refuse a search of your car unless the officer has probable cause. The only time the police can conduct an extensive search of your home is when they have a court-issued search warrant against you.
Illegal Searches and Seizures
This is different from an arrest warrant, which gives the police the authority to enter your house and arrest you, but not to conduct an extensive search of your home. With an arrest warrant, the police may only search the immediate area under your control to determine whether you hid or attempted to destroy weapons or evidence.
When the police enter your home because of an emergency or because you gave them consent, they can only seize objects that are in plain sight. For example, if the police enter your home in response to a domestic abuse call, they may confiscate any illegal weapons or drugs they see lying around the house. They may not, however, move furniture or open closets to find incriminating items. While the police need a warrant to search your home, garage, and the property immediately surrounding these places, they do not need a warrant to search other parts of your property, such as fields or forests.
This is because the law assumes that people only have an expectation of privacy in and around their homes—not on the far reaches of their property. Criminal suspects enjoy the protection of the so-called exclusionary rule, which dictates that a prosecutor cannot use illegally obtained evidence against a defendant. For example, if the police searched your car without your consent but did not have probable cause, the prosecutor cannot use any evidence of that search against you at trial.
A skilled criminal defense attorney will interview the arresting officers and determine whether they actually had probable cause. However, even in states where this statute is in place, a person is not required to provide identification to the police unless there is a reasonable belief that:.
If any of the above conditions are met, a police officer may also temporarily detain the suspect and can conduct a patdown if it is believed that the suspect is carrying a weapon. Unreasonable searches and seizures, however, are banned, and a warrant must be issued after showing probable cause to conduct searches of vehicles, homes, or other property.
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For example, in some states, name, address, and what a person is doing is all that needs to be disclosed.