The Right to Privacy in the United States of America

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Title: Democratic, Fair, and Consummate Position Whether a person should be Arrested Without Notification or a Warrant of Arrest


In spite of the requirement that police officers are required to provide a warrant of arrest and information about reasons for arrests before arresting suspects, many arrests are conducted without complying with these guidelines. Consequently, many United States (US) citizens have expressed disappointment with the practice of arresting them without adequate evidence, resulting into increased personal costs during court procedures (Fortune 3). Kentucky is one of the states where the police have been involved in arrests of crime suspects in relation to possession of drugs or the involvement in activities that are regarded to be against the law within their residences. Nevertheless, it is one of the states where improvements have been made in terms of the availability of warrant of arrests to the suspect by introducing the e-warrant system. The e-warrant system can be accessed in the web and checked by a suspected person whether one has been legally arrested (De Santos Par 4). The residents have expressed their dissatisfaction with the act of arresting them even when they are in their residential areas. In other states, many arrests have been done when the suspect mixes with people in particular environment such as buildings or areas in which business activities are conducted. According to human rights perspective, it is the right of the American citizens to live in their legitimate areas of residences without being subjected to abrupt search or seizures. While people have expressed disappointments with the procedures in which arrests are conducted, there are particular situations that such a practice is supported in law. This paper explains the reasons for and against the perceptions that a person should be arrested without notification or warrant of arrests and the opposing view in support of the suspects.

Side One Arguments

            It is recommended that the police should enter a place such as an apartment by force and apprehend the occupants when it is suspected that they have ties with a suspect who id hidden in the building. However, the police must inform the arrested person about the reason why the arrest has been done in such a prompt manner and why there is no warrant to validate the arrest (Morrow par 5). An abrupt arrest is permitted when the misdemeanor is committed in the presence of the police and there is reasonable perception that there are other criminals in the location where the suspected crime has been committed. The Kentucky Constitution provides that during any warrantless arrest, the accused should be taken before a judge without delay in presenting the case to court and ensuring the offence associated with the arrest is explained to the presiding judge. a post-arrest complaint must be signed by the person who has undertaken the arrest. If there is no magistrate at the time of the arrest, the arrested person should be taken to jail and the documents pertaining to the arrest should be given to the jail attendant.

            According to Fortune (397), the police are justified to make arrests without issuing notice or a warrant when the officer has substantial evidence that the person arrested is associated with the crime under investigation. In the case study, the suspect disappeared into the apartment where people were watching the Super Bowl, implying that the suspect might be associated with those who occupied the room. Furthermore, if the police have a probable cause of why they arrested the plaintiffs, the act of doing can be permitted. It is also permissible for the police to arrest a suspect when the latter accepts the act. According to the requirements of the Supreme Court of Kentucky, the suspect must be taken to court within twelve hours after arrest in the absence of exceptional conditions. The amended rule is based on the assumption that the arrested person can be taken to court immediately if the judge is available to hear the case.

The police officers are recommended to arrest a person without the use of a search warrant or notification when there is a possible cause of the offence or when the offence can be punished by imposing a small fine. In the case of Atwater v. Lago Vista, U.S. Sup. Ct. 2001, according to Texas Laws, it is a misdemeanor not to tie the seatbelt in a vehicle and such negligence is punishable by the imposition of a small fine. Gail Atwater was driving with her children when she was arrested and charged for failure to secure her children using the belts. She sued Bart Turek who committed the arrest for unreasonable arrest and violation of privacy as stated in the Fourth Amendment. The District Court declared Atwater’s claims meritless. She forwarded the case to the Courts of Appeals which also stated that the ruling did not violate her Fourth Amendments rights and there was no evidence indicating that she was arrested in unreasonable manner. In the act of arresting the suspects in the case study, it was reasonable to do so because they were in the vicinity of the crime and they had seen the person who was being pursued by the police (Waite 16). Therefore, an act of arresting them is supported by the fact that they may provide information for facilitating the process of interrogation or providing the information which could be used to validate the crime committed by the suspect.

Side Two Arguments

            According to this side of argument, it was unlawful to arrest the people in the apartment without proof that they were drug dealers or search warrant. According to the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution, it is unlawful to violate the people’s freedom such as the freedom to live in their homes and being free from harassment or intimidation (Oxton 27). An act of doing so is equal to violation of universal rights of the US citizens.

It is unlawful for the police to break into the residential area of an individual and seize a property arrest the tenant or owner of an apartment without providing the necessary supporting information such as a search warrant or a warrant of arrest. Furthermore, it is the duty of the police to seek the consent of the occupants of the building or apartment in which a search is conducted before gaining entry into it (Bohlen and Harry 54). Any action which is contrary to this requirement is a violation of the individual’s right to property and privacy. However if the individual provides a consent that he can allow the police to conduct the search, the police are permitted to conduct the search of the property. The police do not have the right to inform the people what to do because they are in their private property. The occupants of the building had the right to refuse being arrested or searched by the police if adequate reasons were not provided for doing so.

            In the case study, the police officers were in pursuit of a suspect who was perceived to have been involved in drug dealing but the people who were arrested were not the actual drug dealers. The act of doing so is not right because there is no evidence to support the claims that the arrested people are drug dealers. In the case study, the occupants of the apartment had the right to stay in the building and participate in their respective activities without being made uncomfortable or being intimidated (LaFave 10). While the police have the authority to arrest people who are perceived to have committed crimes, they are bound to do so within particular limits of rationality. They are required to establish whether adequate evidence can be obtained from the people in the apartment before declaring that they are associated with the crimes they commit. Section 10 of the Kentucky Constitution requires that a person should not be arrested without prior notification or warrant of arrest but may be interrogated to provide evidence in the process of pursuing a suspect. Section 10 has similar characteristics as the warrant clause of the fourth amendment of the Constitution of the United States which requires a complaint under oath that sets out the facts associated with a crime (Katz 14). The complaint is subject to review by a judicial officer in an independent examination procedure.

Side One Negative Arguments

            The negative associated with breaking into the building and arresting the occupants of a violation of the universal rights of the occupants as stated in the Constitution. Since the police were in pursuit of a particular criminal and not a group of them, it was not reasonable to arrest anybody in the apartment that the suspect entered but rather continue with the search until they find him (Segal 892). The police have the duty to enter into the home carefully and ask if the owner of the house has any information that can be used to facilitate the arrest of the suspect.

            It was also wrong for the police to pursue the suspect and arrest anybody who lived in the path followed by the former during escape. The police was responsible for ensuring the people in the apartment are not harmed based on the fact that they did not show signs of being associated with the crime for which the suspect was pursued (Prakash 23). If the police perceived that the owner of the building was a likely culprit, there was the need to provide a signed statement in the presence of a counsel which shows that the arrested people were associated with the crimes committed. The sworn statements should be provided during judicial procedures in the presence of the members of the family of the suspect such as his spouse, and municipal lawyers. According to (Oxton 1158), the police officers are required to verify the validity of an arrest warrant before arresting a suspect or presenting him/her to court for trial. They must also introduce themselves in relation to the crime and provide information which enable understanding of the warrant. Furthermore, it was wrong for the police to interrogate or subject the arrested people to trial when they did not have the knowledge regarding the case for which they were arrested.

Side Two Negative Arguments

            The act of breaking into the apartment and arresting the occupants of the building was justifiable because they were likely to provide evidence related to the crime committed by the suspect. The act of breaking into the apartment was justified since the police tried to access the locality of the suspect before he could distort evidence (Cretacci 20). Since the illegal act was being performed in the vicinity of the apartment, the police had the legal right to pursue him and overcome any barrier that prevented their ability to do so without the use of a search warrant. If there are any damages to property, the owner of the apartment could seek compensation from the state police department after the search is completed.

If the police had resolved to arrest the people who occupied the apartment in which the suspect had escaped, it was not necessary to seek their permission to do so. Since the police perceived that the suspect had entered the apartment where people were playing the Super Bowl, drinking and smoking, it was likely that they were associated with the crime and they could provide evidence which leads to the validation of the crime committed by the suspect (Fortune 19). The act of breaking into the apartment was warranted because it enabled searching for additional information such as whether the suspect had hidden some drugs in the building.

There was also likelihood that if the occupants of the apartment were given the enough time to open the door, they would flee using other routes, distort information related to the crime under consideration, or prepare a counter-attack against the police. The act of entering abruptly into the building ensured the people could not distort any evidence which was regarded relevant in relation to the case (De Santos par 3). There was also the possibility that the occupants of the building could fabricate evidence if they were allowed adequate time to open the door. Furthermore, the act of arresting the person does not mean that he could not be informed about the reason for the arrest, but it ensured he was taken into custody so that he could be informed later when his likelihood of escaping is minimal.

The Opinion

            When comparing the actions of the police and the experience of arrest that the occupants of the building underwent, the police are justified in performing a forceful entry into an apartment and arresting the occupants in relation to a crime. The police were more likely to lose evidence associated with the crime if they did not take the necessary steps to arrest the people in the building. There was a high likelihood that the people in the building accomplices of the suspect because of the fact that they were drinking and smoking. It is also a practice in the police department that during the search and seizure of evidence, the police have the right to forcefully enter a premise and retrieve any evidence that can be destroyed if it is suspected that the occupants will make it distorted. When the police arrest a suspect, it does not mean that the arrest is final. The arrested person will undergo judicial procedures in which evidences pertaining to their offences will be examined and a resolution will be made whether they are guilty of the offences or not. The arguments in favor of the arrest by the police outweigh those supporting the restraint from breaking the apartment because the former were more likely to ensure the well-being of the latter is observed even after the arrest and he could be acquitted if there is no substantial evidence in relation to the offence under consideration. If the police restrained from entering into the apartment in favor of protection of the rights of the occupants, it means that they could not have been able to conduct a credible investigation because the latter could have distorted the evidence or escaped from the building before being arrested.


            Arrests, custody, and trial of offenders without compliance with the legal procedures is an issue of major concern in Kentucky State in particular and the United States in general. The police in the United States encounter major challenges in preventing illegal drug trade and occasionally arrest people who are not directly involved in drug trade. Public outrage has been high regarding lack of consideration for the Universal Rights of the people such as rights to private property or personal liberty and freedom from arrest without a warrant. The public need to be taught to acquire the relevant knowledge about when the police are permitted to conduct a search without using a warrant or arrest people who are likely to be associated with particular crimes such as sales and distribution of drugs. The case studies presents arguments which shows that the public may be justified to seek freedom from unnecessary arrest but there are particular circumstances under which the police are permitted to arrest the suspects such as when they are fleeing, when there is a likelihood that their colleagues may distort evidence, or when it is perceived that the duration taken to get a search warrant may not enable the pursuance to be conducted adequately.

Works Cited

Bohlen, Francis H., and Harry Shulman. "Arrest With and Without a Warrant." University of          Pennsylvania Law Review and American Law Register 75.6 (1927): 485-504.

Cretacci, Michael A. Supreme Court Case Briefs in Criminal Procedures. Lanham: Rowman &     Littlefield Publishers, 2007. Print.

De Santos, Jonathan, “The Rights of Those Accused of Doing Wrong” Philster Global Article,            2016, June.[Online], Available at:            feature/2016/07/10/1601427/rights-those-accused-doing-wrong

, Accessed on January 6,        2018.

Fortune, William H. "Kentucky Law Survey: Criminal Rules." (1982).  

Katz, Lewis R. Ohio Arrest, Search and Seizure. West Group, 2000.

LaFave, Wayne R. "Search and Seizure." (1978): 53-55.

Morrow, Stephen, “Know Your Rights: Can You be Searched Without a Warrant?” Legal Zoom    Article, 2010, December. [Online], available at:          warrant

, Accessed on January 6, 2018.

Oxton, Chelsea. "The Search Incident to Arrest Exception Plays Catch Up: Why Police May No           Longer Search Cell Phones Incident to Arrest Without a Warrant." Creighton L. Rev. 43          (2009): 1157.

Prakash, Abhinav. Code of Criminal Procedure. Delhi: Universal Law Pub. Co, 2007. Print.

Segal, Jeffrey A. "Predicting Supreme Court cases probabilistically: The search and seizure             cases, 1962-1981." American Political Science Review 78.4 (1984): 891-900.

Waite, John Barker. "Law of Arrest." Tex. L. Rev. 24 (1945): 279.


Fortune, William H. "Kentucky Law Survey: Criminal Rules." (1982).  


Atwater v. Lago Vista, U.S. Sup. Ct. 2001

August 21, 2023

Crime Law

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