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Search and Seizure laws have become the most complex in recent history The United States Supreme Court and a few US Appeals Courts have decided cases that revolve around this complexity Several judicial reviews have been handed down in this article to form a guideline for the police who effect search and seizures upon individuals and vehicles These laws will greatly benefit both the law enforcement officer and the common person if a situation ever arises where these laws must be enacted Probable cause is most often at the center of a search and seizure Technically probable cause means - apparent and reliable facts that create a reasonable belief that a crime has been or is being committed In a 1986 supreme court case Malley v Briggs it was decided that the police are not entitled to absolute immunity from civil damages if officers proceeded with a lack of probable cause This decision was a big victory for the peoples rights It made it so that the police may no longer rely blindly on the authority of a magistrate and they can be held accountable for there actions In Minnesota v Dickerson -1993- a man was seen evasively leaving a building known for cocaine traffic Officers stopped him and subjected him to a pat-down They felt a large lump in his pocket and proceeded to remove it The lump was identified as cocaine and the man was arrested Unfortunately for the police the evidence was surpressed because the officers never thought the lump to be a weapon and therefore any further investigation was unconstitutional The reason for this goes back to a 1968 case of Terry v Ohio where the court allowed for pat-down if they felt endangered The court allowed for the search for weapons but not anything else in this decision Automobile searches have proven very controversial Warrantless searches may be conducted when they follow a lawful arrest or when probable cause
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