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LegaL Paper

Legal Concepts in Law Enforcement Introduction In a law enforcement environment, some principles and regulations ensure that all personnel get fair treatment. These principles protect individuals from police harassment, discrimination, and guarantees only those breaking the law get brought to book. The American Constitution establishes the laws that guide law enforcement agencies on what steps to take whenever they arrest a person, offering procedures to follow in determining who gets arrested. It guarantees that citizens get a right to privacy, eliminating totalitarian dictatorship where people would be stopped randomly for search and arrest. This paper will describe different legal concepts in law enforcement agencies. Standards of legal Justification The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution gives a requirement that develops the background in legal justification. Under the amendment, there are four factors that police officer must meet before assuming a person is dangerous and warrant arrest. These factors include determination of mere suspicion, a reasonable suspicion, probable cause, as well as proof beyond a reasonable doubt. A police officer cannot stop a person or arrest them based on mere suspicion. Mere suspicion would refer to a hunch where a police officer guesses that a person is dangerous or are likely to conduct criminal activity. Mere guesswork would not work in law enforcement as it would violate the constitutional right of privacy, leading to court cases in violation of this right. In the best interest of the country, individuals, and law enforcement agencies to develop a reasonable suspicion before conducting search, seizure, arrest, or frisking. There can be a consensual encounter with a police officer, which is like a normal encounter between people. In such an encounter, the citizen is free to go. The consensual encounter is voluntary, and a person has no obligation to respond to what the officer asks (Chambliss, 2011). Consensual encounter is different from reasonable suspicion as one may have no suspicious acts to attract brief detention; hence, no justification needed. However, a police officer may engage in a consensual encounter after a mere suspicion. Reasonable suspicion is a presumption that criminal activities will be, is being or has been committed by a person to be or being arrested. Notably, there must be circumstantial or factual evidence that makes a police officer believe criminal activities may be happening. In law, a reasonable suspicious must have some facts or circumstances based on the police officer’s experience and training. Reasonable suspicion depends on total circumstances and results of facts despite the person being innocuous (Ferguson, 2012). Reasonable suspicion entails more than a hunch but notably less than a probable cause. A person cannot be arrested on reasonable suspicion; however, an arrest would occur if the facts provide a probable cause. A person can be briefly detained and stopped based on reasonable suspicion and frisked in search of weapon as the detention does not infringe the Fourth Amendment unreasonable search and seizure prohibition. Probable cause entails a criminal law requires that a police officer must have adequate reason to make an arrest, conduct search, and seizure for an alleged crime. A court determines probable cause where known facts and circumstances present reasonable prudence in arresting a person based on criminal evidence. The Fourth Amendment states that a warrant should be issued upon probable cause. However, it does not specify what entails probable cause. The Supreme Court clarifies that probable cause is fluid, imprecise, and depends on the context. For....

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