Search Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is Search?

(v) Search is the action of examining a premises including vehicle of a person involved or believed to be involved in criminal activities with an object of collecting evidences expected or anticipated to be available there which is otherwise not available.

History and Meaning of Search

Search is a term utilized by law enforcement when investigating a criminal offense. It involves examining a location or items belonging to an individual associated with the alleged criminal activity. The objective of the search is to gather evidence that may not be obtainable through standard investigative methods.

Search has been a part of law enforcement for centuries. In early times, searches were conducted without the use of warrants, and in some cases, without probable cause. In the United States, the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. The amendment requires that searches must have a valid warrant and probable cause. This was established after the British used general warrants, which were not specific to a search, during colonial times.

Examples of Search

  1. The police conducted a search of the suspect's home and found the murder weapon.
  2. The border patrol conducted a search of the cargo container for illegal drugs.
  3. The National Security Agency conducted a search of the internet for potential terrorist activity.

Legal Terms Similar to Search

  1. Seizure - The act of taking possession of evidence or property during a search.
  2. Warrant - A legal document that authorizes a search or seizure.
  3. Probable Cause - The necessary level of belief required for a search or arrest.