Search and Seizure of a Motor Vehicle

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Before a search and seizure of properties is carried out, it is incumbent of the officer involved to procure a warrant from a judge to authorize him/her to conduct a search on a person or a place. Retrospectively, in the early days of automobiles, the courts created exceptions for vehicle searches stating that a vehicle may be searched without a warrant being required owing to the mobility of a vehicle which may allow them to be swiftly removed from a jurisdiction. Thus if a police officer undertaking the search had probable cause and believe the vehicle contained contraband they may detain the vehicle and its contents and conduct a search, while they are covered by exemptions that do not go against the fourth amendment(Davies, 2010). This paper examines the various situations that can result in a search and seizure by officers of the law in regard to motor vehicles. it discusses the exemptions under which a vehicle and/or occupants withal may be searched without a warrant. The exemptions covered include consent exemption where an individual consents to the search, plain view exemption where an officer can seize suspicious objects in plain sight, in case of pervasively regulated business in which the government has an interest. The other exemptions included an investigatory traffic stop when a police officer reasonably suspects a motorist has committed a crime and stops them, the custodial arrest exemption and finally the stop and frisk exemption.
Under the fourth amendment, a warrantless search of a motor a vehicle can be allowed based on certain exceptions that are contained therein.