Probable cause is a requirement of the Fourth Amendment and is defined as a reasonable basis that a crime may have been committed (Busby, 2017a). Probable cause also refers to officers being certain that evidence of a crime will be present in the place that they would like to search. For an officer to secure an arrest, the officer’s knowledge must lead to a reasonable suspicion that the individual has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime (Busby, 2017a). This probable cause must come from facts and evidence and cannot be made solely off of the officer’s suspicion.
For an officer to secure a search warrant, they must state their adequate reason for wanting to conduct a search or seizure on an individual’s property. A judge will then look at the totality of the circumstances provided by the officers and determine if adequate cause exists (Busby, 2017a).
The exclusionary rule prohibits the government from using illegally obtained evidence in a criminal trial (Jurkowski, 2017). This rule was established in Mapp v. Ohio, stating that evidence gained from an unreasonable search and seizure is a violation of the Fourth Amendment. Some exceptions to the exclusionary rule include; the good-faith exception, the independent source doctrine, and the inevitable discovery doctrine (Jurkowski, 2017).
The good-faith exception allows evidence to be used in a criminal trial if obtained by officers who reasonably rely on a search warrant that turns out to be invalid. The independent source doctrine can allow evidence that is discovered during an unlawful search or seizure if the evidence is later obtained through a constitutionally valid search or seizure (Jurkowski, 2017). The inevitable discovery doctrine is related to the independent source doctrine. I
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