Although the use of a search warrant when conducting any search is the general rule (see below), under the terms of the Fourth Amendment, the search of a person, vehicle and (possibly) container without a warrant may usually be justified under one or more of three legal theories:
- Incident to Arrest
- With Probable Cause plus Exigent Circumstances
- With Consent
Each of these theories is separately discussed in the following chapters.
Searches of a house (or residence) pose different problems relating to the necessity of a warrant. (See "Searches of Residences," below)
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