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Frisk and Arrest (Essay Sample)


1)Why is a “frisk” considered a search and an “arrest” considered a seizure? 2)What type of search were the framers of the Constitution prohibiting through the Fourth Amendment? 3)Provide your own definition of reasonable. 4) Considering the law relies on this “reasonableness” standard often, do you think there are any problems with it? 5) Do you think your concept of reasonableness is the same as a police officer? Could this influence your interaction with a police officer? 6)Discuss the advantages to obtaining a warrant.

Frisk and Arrest
Frisk and arrest are some of the most controversial procedures done by police. A frisk is considered a search because it is a physical contact by the officer on an individual in order to detect concealed items by sense of touch on the individuals body.An arrest is considered a seizure as it deprives an individual of their liberty and it is accompanied by a demonstration of authority from police officer who may apply force. The officer intentionally holds the individual in order to detain them. The constitution of the Fourth Amendment to the United States prohibits unreasonable searches and states that issuance of warrant of arrest should have a supporting probable cause and its sanction should be done judicially. Reasonable simply means having more than just suspicion and it should be based on articulate facts (Davies, 56).
Absolute reliance on this ‘reasonableness’ by the law can sometimes be misused if the reasonable suspicion is not based on articulate or specific facts. It can also become a problem if the officer bases their suspicion on their mere hunch, for crime prevention or to protect themselves. Owing to their experience, police officers are better placed to interpret circumstances around complex criminal activities as compared to an average individual. Anyone who is aware of this becomes very conscious of their actions when they come into contact with the police officer to avoid arrest (Levy 34-36).
Obtaining a warrant enables the prosecutor or the officer compiling an affidavit to hold more discussions that come in handy in preparing a careful statement of probable cause. It also allows the magistrate to check through the informat...
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