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."
Human beings leave behind DNA wherever we go. We shed skin. We sneeze out DNA-containing droplets. We shed hairs. We can't avoid it.
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.
Have you ever wondered if the government is monitoring your Facebook or Instagram? They are.
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.
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.
Well over 1 million excited people cross through the gates of the Iowa State Fair every August. It's a time to celebrate the state's culture, get some delicious food and drink and check out the variety of entertainment.
If you are pulled over for OWI, stay awake. You lose some of the constitution's protection if you pass out, according to a new ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. If you remain awake, law enforcement officers must obtain a warrant before drawing your blood for a chemical test. If you're unconscious, however, they can draw your blood without bothering to get a warrant.
Would you let a stranger in a lab coat search through your phone? What about a police officer? How about if you had a good reason to refuse, such as evidence of a crime?
"Driving while black" isn't a real crime, but it might as well be. African-Americans and people of color persistently report being stopped, searched, cited and even arrested for traffic offenses in situations where white people probably wouldn't be. Yet people of color don't break the law at a higher rate than whites. If anything, a recent study found, whites are more likely to do so.