Search And Seizure Dbq

comparative Essay
832 words
832 words

Search and Seizure The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. A warrant, a legal paper authorizing a search, cannot be issued unless there is a reasonable cause. Courts have rules that a warrant is not required in every case. In emergencies such as hot pursuit, public safety, danger of loss of evidence, and permission of the suspect, police officers do not need a warrant to search a person’s property (Background Essay). In the case of DLK, federal agents believed DLK was growing marijuana in his home. Artificial heat intensive lights are used to grow the marijuana indoors (Doc B). Agents scanned DLK’s home with a thermal imager. Based on the scan and other information, a judge issued …show more content…

A house produces excess heat when the artificial light that simulates sunlight creates a lot of electricity. “ can also be a great tool to locate abnormal heat signatures [patterns] on and around buildings” (Doc B). The excess heat can be an indicator there is marijuana being illegally grown in the home. The image pictured in Document C shows the greatest amount of heat escaping id for windows and doors. This document helps the federal agents understand the issue better and demonstrates how they came to a conclusion. This image can be used for evidence to indicate where heat is escaping, and how much excess heat there is. The thermal imager only exposes the surface of DLK’s residence. “The thermal imager did not detect private activity in a private place, but instead scanned a surface exposed to public view in order to detect the physical fact of relative heat” (Doc E). This is reasonable and did not reveal any activity inside. Therefore, scanning the home with a thermal imager is reasonable and does not require a …show more content…

Scanning a home using a thermal imager is not a Fourth Amendment search. “The officers’ conduct did not amount to a search and was perfectly reasonable…” (Doc F). The scan was also reasonable, which does not violate the Fourth Amendment. In DLK’s case, nothing was searched, and nothing was seized. “...scanned a surface exposed to public view in order to detect the physical facet of relative heat [escape]” (Doc E). Only the surface was scanned, which everyone in the general public could see. Moreover, the government does not need a warrant to scan the home because using a thermal imager does not oppose the Fourth Amendment. “As such, the imager represented a permissible means for law enforcement to gather information without previously obtaining a warrant” (Doc E). Consequently, the scan does not defy the Fourth Amendment of the

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the fourth amendment to the united states constitution prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. courts have rules that a warrant is not required in every case.
  • Explains that a thermal imager was used to detect heat inside dlk's home which can only allow the federal agents to see excess heat.
  • Explains that the fourth amendment states that people have the right to be secure in their homes against unreasonable searches and seizures.
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