A Search by the Police Without a Search Warrant
It is extremely difficult to prove the presence of a criminal activity or possession of an illegal object without visual observation of the suspected area. It may require law enforcement officers to initiate a search to provide more clarity on the issue. The law allows this if it is done on reasonable grounds. However, a person is allowed to object to a police search if the law enforcement officer requesting a search has no reasonable ground for the operation. It is not possible to give an accurate parameter to gauge the reasons for a search.
The law is not clear on what entails sufficient probable cause and what does not warrant a search. If a law enforcement officer gives an insufficient reason for a search, one has a right to disagree with the officer on the necessity of a search. However, it is upon the law enforcement officer to decide whether to conduct a search or not. Objection to a search is limited to verbal expression, and physical resistance could warrant the arrest of the obstructing person. The law does not allow anyone to make even the slightest physical contact with a law enforcement officer in disagreement.
Moreover, the police officer is allowed to continue with the search despite objections by the affected party. However, Law enforcement officers are guided by the ethical code of their discipline to conduct searches only with a reasonable cause. There must always be probable cause for officers to conduct any kind of a search according to the constitution. Police officers may obtain a search warrant from a court of law to search any building, vehicle, container, place, or person in a pursuit for evidence of a violation of the law. The warrant contains the expected details of the search.
Furthermore, law enforcement officers do not need anyone’s consent if they have a search warrant document. Moreover, the police officers may search any open space or field where no obvious expectation of privacy is expected. If the police do not have a valid search warrant, a search may be conducted, but the police officers must be ready to prove before a court of law that their search was justified. It is not absolutely necessary that any incriminating evidence is found at the place of search for the police to be justified to conduct a search, but the police must be able to prove that there was a probability that something incriminating was being concealed.
A search can be conducted to gather evidence in earnest if there is a possibility of someone interfering with the evidence. In addition, a police officer is allowed to confiscate any illegal goods from any location on sight and this might require a search to be conducted. Conducting searches on people’s residences is restricted by the law and may often require a search warrant. An unwarranted search of a person’s residence may amount to intrusion and breach of privacy laws.
When a law enforcement officer conducts a search without any probable cause, incriminating evidence may be found altogether. Since the search is a violation of the constitution, the evidence gathered may not be admissible before a court of law. However, if an offender was arrested during the search, prosecution proceedings may be instituted on the arrested person on basis of other evidence. The law allows the inclusion of the illegally obtained evidence if the law enforcement officer had good motives when conducting the search. Furthermore, if the police are found to have obtained all evidence or part of it illegally, it does not mean that the accused person is absolved of the offense.