Discuss when a search warrant is needed by law enforcement.

Search warrants are often required for law enforcement to conduct a search or effect an arrest due to requirements set forth in the fourth amendment. For instance, if law enforcement needs to search a residence for evidence of a crime, they need to obtain a search warrant prior to conducting a search (Legal Information Institute, 2020). For example, if law enforcement officers observe a handgun and a pound of suspected heroin inside an open window of a convicted felon’s apartment, they can not necessarily barge in the front door and conduct a warrantless search. Officers would need to obtain a search warrant before going inside the residence.

Search warrants are not always required for vehicles however. This is referred to as the automobile exception or “Mobile conveyance.” This essentially states if law enforcement develops probable cause, which would later justify the issuance of a warrant, to search a motor vehicle, the search can be conducted without a warrant (US v. Albert Ross, 2020). This is because the vehicle can be easily moved, and therefore evidence can be easily displaced.

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Discus what law enforcement must demonstrate to a judge to have a search warrant issue.

Law enforcement must demonstrate there is probable cause to believe a search is justified (Legal Information Institute, 2020). This could include probable cause a wanted subject is inside a residence or there are large amounts of narcotics inside an apartment.

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