List the requirements for obtaining a search warrant (4th Amendment).

QUESTION 1.  List the requirements for obtaining a search warrant (4th Amendment). (4 POINTS)

QUESTION 2.  List 5 exceptions to the need for a warrant.  (Five situations where a search warrant is not needed.)   (5 POINTS)

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QUESTION 3.  What justification is needed for each of the following?  (Reasonable Suspicion, Probable  Cause, Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, Compelling Evidence, or None of These)  (5 POINTS)

  1. A Warrant
  2. A Terry Stop
  3. Search of a Person’s Home
  4. Border Checkpoint Search
  5. Search of the Passenger Compartment of a Person’s Car


Assuming you have a valid search search warrant that describes in detail the residence to be searched and in detail the things to be searched for.    The residence is a  3 bedroom house, with a 2-car garage with 2 parked cars, a basement, and a small storage shed in the back yard.  The crime in question is narcotics trafficking.  The evidence to be looked for includes, narcotic drugs, and any other illicit drugs (including, but not limited to, marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine), drug paraphernalia, money (cash, coin, bullion), guns and gun parts, computers  and devices for storage for electronic information (thumbdrives, discs, etc.), cell phones, digital and analog cameras and photo storage cards or film.

Based on the description of the location and the list, where would the police be permitted to search?  Be specific and detailed.


Police respond to a murder scene.  The body is located in the second floor bedroom.  Two other bedrooms, the living room, and kitchen are located on the first floor. The scene is secured, but the detectives have not yet searched the entire house.     The suspect remains at large.

When the medical examiner arrives, one of the detectives escorts the the ME to the body upstairs.  After examining the body, the ME removes the body from the scene following the usual protocol.

After the ME leaves, the detectives, without a warrant, conduct a search and recovery of evidence from the enitre house over the next 2 days.

Eventually a suspect is caught and charged with the murder.

In preparation for trial, the defendant files a motion to suppress all the evidence obtained from the house during the 2-day warrantless search.

  1. What is the best argument for the defense as to why the evidence should be suppressed?  In other words, was there a 4th Amendment violation in the collection of evidence?  What were the police thinking when they conducted the search without a warrant?  What case law applies in this case?
  2. What argument can the police use to correct or cure the error they made in collecting the evidence?  In other words, what doctrine will the police put forward as a reason that the evidence can be admitted anyway? Cite the case law that applies here.

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