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Consent A Common Fourth Amendment Exception

786 words - 4 pages

Consent- A common Fourth Amendment Exception
It is amazing that in this day and age that there is even a concern about the constitutional rights of suspects involved in computer related crime. The rights of the citizens of this country have been eroded by the passage of many laws including the U.S.A. P.A.T.R.O.T. Act. People can expect to have less privacy because of these laws. The government can enter a person’s house that is not suspected of terrorism or any criminal activity at all. They are free to search the house of that person. There is a good chance that whatever crime is observed will not be ignored. If the government searches a house under a secret warrant possible by the Act, and ...view middle of the document...

A warrant can be obtained quickly in these situations. The warrant will list what can be searched. This includes the computer. It does not matter then who all of the users are. Even though two or more people may share the computer, there is a good chance that it is owned by one person. If this is the case, the owner may give consent without incident. For somebody to give consent, that person must have the authority to do so and must give it knowingly and voluntarily” (Knetzger & Muraski, 2008, p. 243). A consent form signed by all of the users of the computer would help in this situation. The only problem with this is that all of the users may not be present when the police are on site. If the police have to leave for some reason, there is a chance that the suspect or suspects could tamper with the evidence.
To make matters a lot easier, it may be in the best interest of law enforcement to obtain a warrant. This would mean that all of the criteria for probable cause have been met and obtaining a warrant would be easy. This would give law enforcement the chance to respond and properly collect the evidence. They would not need consent at this point. This would help...

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