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What Is a Search and Seizure?

Collecting evidence is a very necessary step in proving or disproving a person’s innocence. Because of the importance that is given to such items and documents, it is crucial that the collection of evidence be done in a legal manner that in no way jeopardizes the integrity of the evidence. A search and seizure is a method of obtaining evidence as ordered by the court and carried out by law enforcement officers.

A search and seizure is a legal means of securing items or documents, and protects any individual from unreasonable and unlawful searches and seizures. The legal means prevents any kind of violation of private property or civil rights that is usually the consequence of illegal search and seizure. Because a search and seizure is a legal method of obtaining evidence, securing one involves a process that depends on the jurisdiction where it is to be carried out. Generally speaking, before a search and seizure can be carried out, a request must be made to the courts with supplementary documentation that provides enough cause for a court to approve the request.

Upon securing the necessary documents, a search and seizure begins with the actual searching of the premises where items or documents are suspected to be. The area to be searched is defined and limited by the scope provided in the search and seizure order, usually in the form of a warrant. Once the items are found, they are seized and removed from the area for further inspection and processing.

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