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Supreme Court Blog

Know Your Rights

on Wednesday, 10 April 2013. Posted in Supreme Court Blog

Can You be Searched Without a Warrant?

Know Your Rights

In a 1991 episode of Law and Order, the detectives arrested a homeless man who was later convicted of murder based on the police’s discovery of the murder weapon in his “home” in Central Park. However, the conviction is later threatened on appeal because the police did not have a warrant to search his “home.” This is a familiar basis for many Law and Order storylines; obtaining a warrant before performing a search and seizure is a sticky situation in the popular legal drama. But, what about in real life? Can you be searched without a warrant?

Anyone who is familiar with the U.S. Constitution would emphatically say no to this question, as the Fourth Amendment protects private citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. The amendment reads:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

How Does Credit Card Fraud Happen?

on Wednesday, 10 April 2013. Posted in Supreme Court Blog

How Does Credit Card Fraud Happen?

Theft, the most obvious form of credit card fraud, can happen in a variety of ways, from low tech dumpster diving to high tech hacking. A thief might go through the trash to find discarded billing statements and then use your account information to buy things. A retail or bank website might get hacked, and your card number could be stolen and shared. Perhaps a dishonest clerk or waiter takes a photo of your credit card and uses your account to buy items or create another account. Or maybe you get a call offering a free trip or discounted travel package. But to be eligible, you have to join a club and give your account number, say, to guarantee your place. The next thing you know, charges you didn’t make are on your bill, and the trip promoters who called you are nowhere to be found.

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