Questions tagged [search-and-seizure]

For questions regarding legally authorized search and seizure of private property

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149 views

Use of anonymous informants to obtain search warrants

In the United States is it commonly accepted by judges to issue search warrants based on anonymous tips or unidentified informants? The reason I ask is that the 4th ammendment to the US Constitution ...
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68 views

Regulations of Tempest protection of buildings

Tempest devices could via intercepting from far away the electro-magnetic waves coming out from one's computer detect what one does on the computer. Employing the Faraday cage principle, one could ...
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1answer
296 views

What is the scope of a warrant in a shared apartment?

I live in a shared apartment in Virginia, USA with three other people. One of them is suspected in a criminal proceeding (that I am not involved with at all). I have no doubt that the police could ...
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89 views

School Search Laws

Consider a situation in a US public school where a bystander/observer of a fight records that fight with their cell phone. If the fight was interrupted by a person of authority, is that person of ...
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899 views

If an officer has a warrant to collect an electronic device, can the owner insist it's turned off first?

Another theoretical question just out of curiosity. Lets say that an officer has gotten a warrant to take/search an individuals laptop in the United States and comes to serve it. At the moment the ...
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1answer
446 views

Letter of notice for seizure of car in UK

I have 2 friends in the UK. Friend A has a valid driving license, Car, Mot and insurance Friend B has no driving license Friend A let friend B drive his car whilst friend A sat in the passenger ...
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1answer
288 views

How to challenge probable cause of search based on “I smell illegal drug X in your car”?

In the United States, a police officer may search a car without a warrant by invoking a probable cause, such as "I smell illegal drug X in your car"? Assuming the police officer made it up and that ...
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4answers
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If roommate steals, can police search other people's rooms too (US)?

I was speaking with my friend, who sounded real nervous, saying she thinks her roommate might be stealing from work. It's been going on for a few weeks and she can't tell for sure, because her ...
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1answer
154 views

Was my house legally searched?

A couple of months ago, I overdosed on an illegal drug and called an ambulance. I was honest and told them what I took. Two cops came with them and while I was in the ambulance and also in the ER 20 ...
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1answer
2k views

Does the Secret Service need warrants to search areas before protectees visit?

Prior to a protectee (e.g. actual or would-be President) visiting an area, the Secret Service do a sweep of it, including any areas that might have a view on the location where the protectee will be ...
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1answer
111 views

Is there any law (US, UK, or Canadian) that limits the scope of a search, so that unrelated crimes can't be prosecuted?

Are search warrants limited to evidence for a specific crime? For example, assume a search warrant is issued based on probable cause of property theft. While executing this search warrant, the police ...
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1answer
174 views

Are there standards for detention of property in connection with a search warrant?

We know that police and government are not liable for damage caused in the course of warranted searches. We also know that people who are not suspected of any crime can have their property searched ...
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1answer
156 views

Search warrant against third party

On a TV program, they described a case in the USA where a man went missing, presumed murdered; four years later the police was told that he might be buried in his garden, the home had meanwhile be ...
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2answers
168 views

Legal to demand payment for information of interest to criminal investigators?

Suppose I have a video surveillance system. Down the road from me a serious crime occurred. Investigating officers canvass the neighborhood looking for leads. I, being a "good" American citizen, ...
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2answers
431 views

How will credit card purchases NOT fall under the guidlines of the new Supreme Court ruling?

The intent of this new ruling by the Supreme Court is for anonymous networks but, when doing forensics on a wire in such a manner as to present to a judge, you can't tell what's inside those packets. ...
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2answers
2k views

What are the limits of “implied consent” when obtaining a driver's license?

This question comes out of reading this New York Times article (quoted below), about a bill that would allow officers to use a "textalyzer" to digitally search phones for evidence that the phones had ...
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1answer
164 views

How to provide probable cause to police to get a search warrant for a suspicious individual?

For the past two YEARS, there has been a van parked on my street that only moves twice a week: once for street sweeping on monday, again for street sweeping on thursday. In other words, it only moves ...
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522 views

Do police need a warrant to analyze wireless network traffic without the network owner's consent?

Today's wireless network technology allows persons with a compatible wireless card to capture packets of data destined for another computer, due to the fact that radio waves are the media through ...
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2answers
1k views

The 4th Amendment and case law relevant to police power for arrests without a warrant

The 4th Amendment states that The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no ...
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2k views

If police get a search warrant, does it have any limitations? Must the person turn over all passwords?

I'm not sure how to phrase this question and I guess it depends on circumstances. Say the police suspect you of building a bomb and a judge issues a warrant. To what extent can they search you and ...
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1answer
344 views

Can law enforcement legally force someone to unlock a device themselves in the US?

We're all likely aware of the big Apple vs FBI case where the FBI wants to force Apple to open a back door in its encryption on iPhones, and we'll soon discover what the law will decide on that, but ...
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28 views

Federal seizure of money from foreigners in foreign banks [duplicate]

I don't understand how it is legal or even possible for the United States to seize money belonging to a foreigner from a foreign bank without that person having been convicted of a crime. What is the ...
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1answer
108 views

What powers has a police to question or search males of age 18-21 who are smoking tobacco in a high crime area?

The event in this scenario takes place in England and is based on an experience from a number of years ago. The time is 2300. 4 Males (ages between 18 and 21) in two cars decide to drive out to a ...
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2answers
1k views

Can the police get a search warrant for data 'in the cloud'?

Curiosity question only, as usual for me. I'm asking about US laws specifically. Suppose someone is accused of a crime and the police have sufficient evidence to obtain a search warrant for his ...
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1answer
519 views

Environment Not Safe for Police to Enter

A follow-up to Can I booby-trap my property against police?, Let us suppose I have some property that I didn't booby trap, but is natural dangerous (say, old mine), and I decided that inside the ...
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3answers
1k views

Religious exemptions to warrant?

In the second season episode of The X-Files "Red Museum," Mulder and Scully visit the home of a devout vegetarian, Odin, who refuses then access to his house because they eat meat. They don't have ...
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272 views

Does the renter/owner of the home have to be present for a search warrant?

Does a home owner or renter on the lease have to be present when police come with a warrant to search the home?
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4k views

What rules apply to searches of a private college dorm room by university police?

In the United States, private colleges often have campus police, who are employed by the school but are sworn law enforcement officers with full police power in a certain jurisdiction (which can ...
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5answers
9k views

Can a store detective search my bag without my consent?

If I am approached by a store detective and accused of stealing something can they search my bag without my consent? Or putting this another way, can I insist that any search be done by the police and ...
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7answers
9k views

Can I booby-trap my property against police?

Inspired by this question: Suppose I'm paranoid (perhaps justifiably) that law enforcemen might conduct a warranted raid of my property. So I setup booby-traps that are designed to either: A. ...
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2answers
2k views

Do pawn shops have third-party consent authority for pawned items?

In Phoenix, Arizona, Leslie Merritt Jr. has been arrested and charged in relation to a series of shootings that occurred along the I-10 corridor in Phoenix. In court filings, the Arizona Department ...
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2answers
468 views

Can U.S. border guards do warrantless searches?

If I am a U.S. citizen entering the United States by car from Canada or Mexico can border guards legally search my car without a warrant?
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4answers
8k views

Consent to searches: Who wins “my-word-against-yours?”

Hypothetical Officer testifies citizen consented to be searched. Citizen denies consenting to be searched. There is no other evidence (that weighs net in favor of either party). Question Whom ...
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5k views

Does handing keys to police under duress constitute consent to search?

Suppose a police officer demands, through a closed window, to search your car or dwelling. Knowing your rights you say, "I do not consent to a search." The officer then declares, "I don't care ...
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What liabilities do the police/CPS have if you are found innocent?

Being accused of a crime you did not commit is an expensive problem. The police may kick your door in and ransack your house looking for evidence. They may deprive you of your property (phones, ...
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28k views

If a neighbor calls the police and says I'm doing drugs on my property

If a neighbor calls the police and says I'm doing drugs in my house/yard and I'm inside by the time the police get there, do they have probable cause to search my property?
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173 views

Can the goverment force me to decrypt a hard-drive in Norway?

I have very little knowledge about the Norwegian laws and the cryptography parts of it. Suppose the police seize my computer and all my hard-drives on suspicion that I have pirated software. All of ...
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1answer
2k views

How often are requests for search warrants declined?

Before law enforcement can search a property, they need to obtain a search warrant (with some exceptions). That is, they request the warrant from a judge/magistrate/court, that then decides whether to ...
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2answers
1k views

In the United States, when can someone legally search my personal laptop? (Government or private security)

Unlike the United Kingdom, U.S. citizens don't have an explicit right to privacy in the Constitution. Although there are implied privacy rights within "penumbras" of the Bill of Rights this has ...
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578 views

Can data from computer forensic investigation be denied as evidence?

3 computers were sealed and taken from a person's apartment. Investigators invited him to unseal the PCs; the seals were intact and confirmed by owner and they started the cloning process. However, ...
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4answers
5k views

Can a US citizen be required to provide the authentication key for encrypted data on a confiscated computer?

I'm asking this for the sake of a story I was considering writing. Assume that someone has a computer, and within that computer he has some encrypted data. He is accused of a crime and the police ...
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2answers
645 views

How exactly does civil asset forfeiture work in the United States?

Civil asset forfeiture is a concept that frequently crops up in the news, e.g. the recent Washington Post article "Drug cops took a college kid’s savings and now 13 police departments want a cut". ...
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4answers
16k views

If a driver is stopped by police, does the officer have the right to demand car documents?

Whenever someone is stopped by police because of a traffic violation or a regular check, does the police officer have the right to demand car documents and proof of insurance without a search warrant? ...
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654 views

Is perimeter search without a warrant ever legal?

Are perimeter searches without consent nor warrant ever legal? What if it's a motor vehicle / car? Is the situation different with a house?
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1k views

Is there any remedy for unnecessary insult by police in the course of their lawful duties?

Following up on Are there any remedies for abusive or insulting behavior by agents executing a search warrant? the more subtle question needs the following elaboration: My impression is that as far ...
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2answers
2k views

Are there any remedies for abusive or insulting behavior by agents executing a search warrant?

Suppose I am a particular person who maintains a clean and orderly residence. I have a sign inside my front door asking visitors to put booties over their shoes before entry. Now some LEOs show up ...
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1answer
647 views

What rights do foreigners have when the CBP wants to search their laptop?

Since laptop and other electronic device seizures at US borders became legal without a warrant (including making copies of data), 7% of ACTE's business travelers reported being subject to a seizure as ...
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2answers
5k views

If the police search my vehicle or house without my consent, and they don't find anything, what recourse is there?

I understand that if the police perform an illegal search, then any evidence found during that search will be excluded from a trial, but what if they didn't find any evidence? If the police do an ...
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2answers
1k views

What stops you from invoking §19.6 if a police officer attempts to seize your mobile phone?

Section 19 of PACE (the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984) states: (3) The constable may seize anything which is on the premises if he has reasonable grounds for believing— (a) that it ...

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