The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. In order to determine whether a search is “reasonable,” courts consider a central question: Does the person have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the place or item searched?
The police don’t need a warrant to conduct a search that’s in response to an emergency (“exigent circumstances”). Sometimes they don’t even need probable cause, as when they’re simply looking out for public safety.
You’ve checked into a hotel for the weekend. You’ve got a nice, relaxing stay planned. But your peace and quiet are suddenly interrupted by a uniformed officer banging on the door to your room. The officer explains that he knew where to find you by inspecting the hotel registry. Regardless of the