Search warrants are generally required when police officers search your property -- unless a specific exception applies. In 1925, the U.S. Supreme Court carved out a major exception to the search warrant requirement in a case called Carroll v. United States. It created the "automobile exception" or "motor vehicle exception," which essentially allows any motor vehicle to be searched without a warrant as long as the officer has probable cause to believe that evidence or contraband will be found in that vehicle.
Criminal defense attorneys and civil rights activists have raised the alarm at the increasing number of electronic devices being searched at our borders and at international airports. In April, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reported that it searched 19,000 devices in fiscal year 2016 -- a shocking increase over the 8,500 it searched in 2015. In the first half of 2017 the agency had already searched nearly 15,000.
Apple Face ID is the newest thing; just look directly at your phone and it unlocks and opens so you can use it. As always with new technology, however, there are questions.
An influential federal appeals court has ruled that a judge erred when granting a search warrant for a cellphone. That search warrant granted police the authority to search a man's residence for any cellphones or electronic devices he might own, and the court said the warrant was unconstitutionally vague.
When are police officers allowed to search your glove box after a traffic stop or an accident? At its base, it's a civil rights issue. The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits "unreasonable searches and seizures" by government agents such as police.
Federal criminal defendants are being denied their full right to confront the evidence against them, according to a lawsuit recently brought by the American Civil Liberties Union. This is because the U.S. Department of Justice doesn't notify defendants when evidence against them was obtained via secret wiretaps and other surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act or the Wiretap Act.
Up until recently, the worst thing that may have happened to you while driving involved a speeding ticket. Then, after you had a couple of drinks with your friends or your family, you got behind the wheel. You hear sirens, see flashing lights and begin to wonder if your breath smells like alcohol.
Should law enforcement pursue the War on Drugs by searching everyone they encounter until every hidden cache of drugs is found? Most people would say no; even more if it meant an intimate, under-clothes search of each of our kids. Searching every student because a small minority is involved in drug activity seems absurd.
Any Arizona motorist who has ever been pulled over by police knows how distressing such situations can be. One minute, you're driving along, perhaps after enjoying a nice evening out with some friends, and the next thing you know there are red and blue lights flashing in your rear-view mirror. Sometimes, simply finding a spot on the roadside to safely pull over and stop is enough to cause anxiety.