Requirements for search and arrest warrants & how they relate to probable cause
The chosen article for this essay is ‘SCOTUS: Drug dog’s sniff was ‘up to snuff,’ establishing probable cause to search truck” (Weiss, 2013). This article talks about a situation, which requires a search because of probable cause. According to this article, a German shepherd dog named Aldo, which has been trained to sniff drugs, gives an alert towards a truck whose license plate had expired.
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The court justified the dog’s actions, and ruled that there was no need for a field history to be established. Just like any other case of probable cause, the question at hand was whether the alert brought up by the dog, viewed under any reasonable person’s imaginations, would offer suspicion for drugs evidence.
As it was found, the suspicious truck which Aldo was sending the alert about carried pseudo-ephedrine pills and methamphetamine. Aldo sniff was unquestionable given that the dog had been through training, and had been taken through a course for the detection of narcotic drugs (Weiss, 2013). Therefore, it was evident that before evaluating cases dealing with probable cause, courts scrutinize entirely the circumstances which lead to it.
Search warrants are normally issued by the judge. For a search and arrest warrants to be issued, the requirements include that the officer produces a probability cause, which justifies the search. In some cases, sworn statements or affidavits are also required in support of the probable cause (Goodman & Waksman, 2010).
Another requirement is a clear description of the particulars that will be searched and what will be seized. The judge thoroughly affirms all possible circumstances before issuing a search or arrest warrant. For instance, the case in this particular article, the judge ruled out the need for a history check based on the fact that the dog had undergone a thorough training on the check on narcotics and that it had its teeth inspected by an authentic organization (Weiss, 2013).
The judge is mandated to restrict search warrants if the law is contravened. According to the fourth amendment, the officer does not need a warrant, but rather evidence to prove the presence of a crime. The reasonableness of a crime also counts when it comes to release of a search warrant. This is as evidenced in the article, as a sniff is justified to be an instinct that would arouse suspicion unto any reasonable person.
Exceptions to warrant requirements
There are certain exceptions to warrant requirements. These include when a person is going through a lawful arrest; under such a circumstance, the person may have his or her immediate surrounding checked for the sake of safety.
The exclusion is referred to as plain view exemption. Warrants are never provided for when capturing evidence because legitimate police officers can check from their stand points. In cases where consent has been issued by someone in authority, warrants are not required (Goodman & Waksman, 2010). For instance, the wife of a suspect may show the officers where they may find the suspect. Another exception is the stop and frisk.
A reasonable suspicion, which is slightly more than the usual suspicion, and slightly less than probable cause offers a reason to stop and frisk a person who is believed to be dangerous or armed. The other exclusion is the automobile one that provides no warrant should be issued to search a vehicle that is suspected to contribute to crime because vehicles are not static. There is also an exception where the suspected materials of crime can easily be made to disappear; for instance, drugs (Goodman & Waksman, 2010).
Goodman, D., &. Waksman D. M. (2010). The search and seizure handbook (3rd edition ed.). Upper saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.
Weiss, D.C. (2013, February 19). SCOTUS: Drug dog’s sniff was ‘up to snuff,’ establishing probable cause to search truck . Retrieved from http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/scotus_drug_dogs_sniff_was_up_to_snuff_establishing_probable_cause_to_searc