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Definition and Comparison of the Legal Terms Search and Seizure

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Search entails the procedure undertaken by agents under authorization by state law as they examine a suspect or individual’s property in a quest to identify particular items that are associated with a criminal act they hold the reason to believe has been committed. On the other hand, a seizure takes place when officers of the law take ownership of items in the course of the search (Gray, 2018).

The relationship that has been described in a proportional matter is ascribed within the administration of justice and this includes the bill of rights security considerations. On this matter and in this essence, the protection of rights is engraved in the constitution and administered proportionally within a given spectrum and the chain of logical laws and principles defined in the US constitution.

The fourth amendment as entailed in the United States constitution is a component of the Bill of Rights with the prohibition of searches and seizures that are unreasonable as well as the need for any warrant with judicial sanctioning and support of cause the is probable. In this case, the legislation can be adopted as a response overall search warrant type as issued with search procedures being a vital source of information in investigations (Kugler and Strahilevitz, 2017). In the case of the officer, the fourth amendment within the United States constitution is a placement of a limitation on police power to affect arrests, undertake searches for people and property. This is in addition to the seizure of contraband and other objects that may take the form of drugs that are illegal or weapons. The limitations are the bedrock in legislation regarding search and seizure (Gray, 2018).

Ethical issues law enforcement faces as it relates to their obligations to not violate fourth amendment rights but to also meet their obligations to enforce the laws of our society and bring those who break the law to justice

To examine the relation of this amendment we can look at the police practice and civil rights in the context of the annual basis practice of frisking of several people within the United States with each encounter been an intrusion that is unwanted into the rights of arbitrary individuals. In this case, the arrest of the individual would be after reasonable doubt has been exhausted that presents the suspect to be arrested. In this case, after the arrest under the fourth amendment, the police officers have the right to undertake a search of the suspect (Gray, 2018).

The Search and Surveillance Act of 2012 empowers the police with powers to search properties and spaces in addition to vehicles with the owner’s consent as well as based on the authority that is statutory in which case, if the lawful owner, as well as the consent of the occupier, are presented the police, can the effect a search for several purposes such as crime prevention before being committed. Other purposes include protection of life and property, prevention of injury as well as investigation of the nature and level of the offense being committed (Kugler and Strahilevitz, 2017).

Rule 41, as well as the Federal Rules and Criminal Procedure and the Search and Surveillance Act of 2012, are the two pieces of legislation that are concerned with police powers of searching as the police in some instances are not required to gain the consent to undertake a search unless there has been the determination of the search purpose. Advice from the person that has provided the consent with a reason for the search with the search scope being limited to consent.

Property searches can be undertaken while basing on the fourth amendment that holds the requirement of all search and seizures being made under the pursuit of a warrant based on the cause that is probable (Gray, 2018).

The Supreme Court of the United States has undertaken the recognition of the right that is held sacred of every individual having the freedom from restraint or interfering with others unless there is clarity in legal authority that is questionable. For instance, in the decision that was the landmark of Terry vs. Ohio (1968), we see that there was confrontation by the Supreme Court with the matter of whether to formulate an exception that was narrow to the probable cause of the fourth amendment.

Such practices coincide with the duty of the police in the prevention of crime and apprehension of criminals at which point to attain appropriation in the balance between rights and obligations (Kugler and Strahilevitz, 2017). Searches and seizures are reasons besides the need for any warrant with judicial sanctioning and support when the cause t is probable.

According to the provisions of the fourth amendment concerning searches and seizures, concerning police activities and in addition to the ruling of the police entering and searching the residence with no warrant, it is at this point that the consent of one of the occupants with shared authority in the specific location even with the later objection of the co-occupants utilizes the application of evidence that is obtained in this form of search. Furthermore, the search of premises with the consent of the owner or occupant should be left as it was found as failure to so would present an illegal search.


  1. Kugler, M. B., &Strahilevitz, L. J. (2017).The Myth of Fourth Amendment Scrutiny. U. Chi. L. Rev., 84, 1747.
  2. Gray, D. (2018). Collective Standing Under the Fourth Amendment. Am. Crim. L. Rev., 55, 77.
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