Search And Seizure Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Search And Seizure, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Search And Seizure?

(n) Search and seizer is the examining of the premises including vehicle of a person involved or believed to be involved in criminal activities, by law enforcing officers, with an object of collecting evidences and seizing materials, tools used or involved in the act of crime from there.

History and Meaning of Search and Seizure

Search and Seizure refers to the action taken by law enforcement officials to search and confiscate evidence on a person or property that is suspicious in nature. This legal procedure has been around for centuries and is believed to have origins in British common law. In the United States, the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures by requiring that law enforcement obtain a warrant before conducting a search, unless there are specific circumstances that allow for a warrantless search.

Examples of Search And Seizure

  1. A police officer searches a suspect’s car after pulling them over for a traffic violation and finds illegal drugs in the trunk.
  2. An FBI agent obtains a warrant to search a suspect’s home and collects evidence linking them to a cyber attack.
  3. A border patrol agent searches the luggage of a traveler at the airport and seizes illegal weapons hidden inside.
  4. A school administrator searches a student’s locker and finds a weapon, leading to the student’s arrest.
  5. A TSA agent searches a passenger’s bag at airport security and confiscates a prohibited item.

Legal Terms Similar to Search and Seizure

  1. Probable Cause - refers to the standard by which a law enforcement officer has reason to believe that a crime may have been committed.
  2. Warrant - a legal document allowing law enforcement officials to conduct a search or seizure.
  3. Exclusionary Rule - a legal principle that prohibits the use of evidence obtained in violation of a defendant's constitutional rights at trial.
  4. Pat-Down Search - a search of a person’s body for any dangerous materials.
  5. Plain-View Doctrine - a legal principle allowing law enforcement officials to seize evidence in plain view without a warrant, as long as that evidence is immediately recognizable as contraband.