Section 4: Investigations and the Law

Fundamentals of Procedural Law by Adam J. McKee

Welcome to Section 4: Investigations and the Law. Here, we delve into the intricate rules and procedures governing law enforcement activities during investigations. We’ll explore the legal boundaries set by the Constitution and the courts, ensuring officers effectively conduct their duties while upholding individual rights.

In Section 4.1, we investigate ‘Searches of Vehicles’, exploring the unique rules surrounding vehicular searches. We’ll discuss the ‘Vehicle Exception’ to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement, the implications of a search following the arrest of vehicle occupants, the policies behind vehicle inventories, and the contentious realm of ‘Pretext Searches.’

Section 4.2, ‘Miscellaneous Searches,’ covers a wide range of topics. We’ll examine the rules for searching containers, how law enforcement can use abandoned property, and the protocols for narcotics field tests. The section further delves into the technological challenges law enforcement faces today, including computer searches and various forms of electronic surveillance like thermal imaging and airborne surveillance.

In Section 4.3, we lift the veil on ‘Undercover Investigations.’ Here, we’ll analyze the use of informants, permissible limits of police deception, and the procedural aspects of undercover operations.

Section 4.4 focuses on ‘Interrogations.’ We’ll explore the essential aspects of this key investigative tool, including its legal and ethical limitations.

Finally, in Section 4.5, we’ll study ‘Miranda Warnings,’ a vital component of procedural law. We’ll analyze the implications of these warnings and how they work in conjunction with Miranda waivers to ensure the right to remain silent and the right to legal counsel.

Section 4 promises a comprehensive exploration of the complex relationship between law enforcement investigations and the legal safeguards designed to maintain a just society.

Modification History

File Created:  08/06/2018

Last Modified:  07/17/2023

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This work is licensed under an Open Educational Resource-Quality Master Source (OER-QMS) License.

Open Education Resource--Quality Master Source License


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