Criminal Justice Faculty Publications and Presentations

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Based on principles of federalism, states as well as the federal government address the powers and duties of fish and wildlife conservation officers (hereafter referred to generally as “conservation officers”) in a variety of ways, a significant number of which appear to have Fourth Amendment ramifications. Many states require their conservation officers to have probable cause, with or without a search warrant, to engage in search activity. Since this is the standard employed for reviewing the reasonableness of the actions of ordinary law enforcement officers, these states’ legal requirements for searching hunters and anglers do not implicate Fourth Amendment concerns. That many of these states permit warrantless searches if a conservation officer has probable cause is of little significance as a viable argument could be made that such situations entail exigent circumstances involving potential destruction of evidence if a warrant were required to be obtained.


Copyright Creighton University.

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Creighton Law Review



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