Search and Seizure Laws and Guidelines

Search and seizure

What is Search and Seizure?

Search and seizure is a legal procedure whereby a police officer, law enforcement official, or other government authorities and their agents, who suspect that a crime has been committed, can perform a full visual and physical search of a person’s property and confiscate any relevant evidence to the crime.

Most countries have provisions in their constitutions that provide the public with the right to be free from “unreasonable” search and seizure. This right is generally based on the premise that everyone is entitled to a reasonable right to privacy.

This interpretation may vary, this right usually requires law enforcement to obtain a legal search warrant from a judge before engaging in any form of search and seizure.

More Information

For more legal definitions, visit our Glossary of Legal and Investigation Terms.


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