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1. Stop and Frisk

Despite the provisions of 4th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States which consists in the need warrant supported by a probable cause, there are some exceptions. They are Terry Stop and Terry Frisk. A Terry Stop means an investigative detention of a suspect. A Terry Frisk means that the officer can conduct a limited search of suspect’s outer clothing for weapons as they can hurt that officer.

Both actions can be done only if an office has reasonable background (reasonable suspicion) to stop a person, for example to prevent a crime. A Frisk can be conducted only when an officer reasonably believes that a person is presently armed and dangerous. In this case, the officer is able to pat down the suspect’s outer clothing and garments. Moreover, the suspicion is reasonable only when a source is credible, for example witnesses and victims, but not the anonymous tips.

2. Consent to Search

If the officers have reasonable suspicions and if it is needed in some other way to search the building they need to complete a search warrant application. Based on this warrant the search can be conducted. There are also some other requirements. The officers have to knock, announce their identity, authority and purpose and demand entry. If no one answers during 10-15 seconds, they can enter using force. A search has to be conducted in a safe and orderly manner.

Sometimes there is also a need to search a car. If a car is not on the curtilage the officers need another warrant. But there is such an exception as “lawful consent to search”. The requirements are: firstly, it must be voluntary. Consent is voluntary if it is not a product of expressed or implied coercion. Secondly, consent can be given by someone else if he or she has an authority over that place. For instance, married couple joins a control over the marital property and the roommates can share the care. So it is reasonable to get consent from either of those people. Although, consent taken from a child will be lawful if this child is over 16 as presumably he or she has already a right to drive. Thirdly, the officers must confine their search to the place authorized. It means that the consenter defines the measures of a search and the officer can’t go beyond the scope. The fact worth noting is that the consenter can withdraw his permission for a search. 

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