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Illegal Search and Seizure Archives

Supreme Court: It's reasonable to assume a driver is car's owner

The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits "unreasonable" searches and seizures by the government, including police officers. A search or seizure can be anything from a momentary stop to a full search and arrest. Over the years, courts have worked hard to determine what should be considered "reasonable."

Law enforcement increasingly using 'reverse search warrants'

Traditionally, search warrants only went one direction. A crime was committed or suspected, and the police would investigate. Witnesses would be contacted. A theory would be developed. When the police had probable cause to search for evidence, they got a search warrant and searched.

Is it illegal for campus police to search your dorm room?

Going off to college is often a time for young adults to step outside of their regular routine. This typically involves moving away from your parents and living on your own or with a roommate. Living by yourself for the first time can bring up a lot of questions. You could have some concerns about your privacy rights while you are living on campus. Each university has unique guidelines that you must follow if you wish to live on campus. If you plan on living in a dorm, you may want to read over your university's housing policy. 

At border and airports, agents need suspicion to search devices

If you have been annoyed at having your smartphone searched at the airport, you'll be interested to hear this. It turns out that agents need reasonable suspicion that you're involved in something illegal before they can perform such a search.

Can DEA agents search people on Amtrak?

The next time you ride Amtrak, you may encounter an agent from the Drug Enforcement Administration asking you to allow a search of your belongings. Don't consent -- especially if you have something to hide.

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