When it comes to performing investigations, law enforcement officers have to follow certain rules and laws just like everyone else.
The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects all US citizens from unreasonable search and seizures.
This means that law enforcement officers can only search a person’s property provided they have a good reason that has been approved by a court, the owner of the property allows it, or the officer has probable cause to do so.
This applies to all of a person’s property, including:
- Their home
- Their car
- Their electronic devices
If a person does not give their consent to let an officer search through their personal possessions, then the officer will need to get a warrant. The warrant will have to be approved by a judge, and it will list exactly what the officers are allowed to look through. If something is not listed on the warrant, than the person has the right to deny the officer from searching or seizing the item in question.
Here in the US, citizens are protected from the government overstepping its boundaries. This includes searching and seizing of someone’s personal property without their consent. It is important that every citizen know and understand their rights. If they do not want to let a police officer search through their stuff, they have the right to turn the officer away unless he or she has a warrant.