☰ Revisor of Missouri


Effective - 05 Sep 2014, see footnote    bottom

  I Section 15.  Unreasonable search and seizure prohibited — contents and basis of warrants. — That the people shall be secure in their persons, papers, homes, effects, and electronic communications and data, from unreasonable searches and seizures; and no warrant to search any place, or seize any person or thing, or access electronic data or communication, shall issue without describing the place to be searched, or the person or thing to be seized, or the data or communication to be accessed, as nearly as may be; nor without probable cause, supported by written oath or affirmation.


Source: Const. of 1875, Art. II, § 11 (Amended August 5, 2014).

(1951) Application for and acceptance of license as transporter of intoxicating liquor under § 311.420 constitutes waiver of right to object to inspection of cargo by enforcement officers. State v. Ward, 361 Mo. 1236, 239 S.W.2d 313.

(1952) Where there was no evidence that defendants had committed crime, that officers had any suspicion that they had committed felony nor that officers had warrants for arrest of defendants, their arrest was illegal and subsequent search of defendant's automobile in which two guns were found was an unreasonable search and seizure prohibited by § 15, Art. I of the constitution. State v. Cuezze (Mo.), 249 S.W.2d 373.

(1952) Whether relevant and competent evidence was obtained by unlawful search or seizure will not be determined unless defendant previously moved for suppression of such evidence or possibly where he was surprised by its introduction. State v. O'Brien (Mo.), 252 S.W.2d 357.

(1953) Where incriminating letter which was strongly corroborative of state witness' testimony was found in unlawful search of appellant's house its admission in evidence over objection and after motion to suppress held error and not harmless as merely cumulative. State v. Clark (Mo.), 259 S.W.2d 813.

(1953) If party to action for forfeiture does not establish that he is the owner of or has an interest in seized whiskey he cannot question the legality of the search and seizure. State v. Rodgers, 364 Mo. 247, S.W.2d 736.

(1953) Subpoena issued by court at request of prosecuting attorney, requiring production of records before grand jury and returnable at time grand jury was not in session and at time when matters affected by such records were not under grand jury investigation, was void both under the statutes and constitution of this state. State ex rel. Burke v. Scott, 364 Mo. 420, 263 S.W.2d 614.

(1954) Where police officers heard shots and saw defendant place unidentified object in his pocket and then flee, their search of him after overtaking him and finding loaded revolver from which one shot had been fired in his pocket was not unreasonable. State v. Charles (Mo.), 268 S.W.2d 830.

(1954) Where defendant in prosecution for illegal sale of liquor failed to object to introduction of whiskey in evidence on grounds of unlawful search and seizure, the objection was waived even though motion to suppress the whiskey had been filed and overruled. State v. Egan (A.), 272 S.W.2d 719.

(1954) Where customer placed groceries and illegally purchased whiskey in his car which was parked on driveway of grocery store, a search of his car cannot be objected to by store owner on prosecution for illegal sale of liquor. State v. Egan (A.), 272 S.W.2d 719.

(1955) Where police watched house for half hour, saw persons enter a room therein and through tear in window shade saw defendant and others with policy book and other paraphernalia and when defendant and another were arrested policy result drawings were taken from him, search and seizure not violative of constitutional provisions as to search and seizure or as to self-incrimination. State v. Hardy (Mo.), 276 S.W.2d 90.

(1955) Where defendant voluntarily testifying, admitted possession of stolen property, she could not complain of prior denial of motion to suppress evidence and admission of evidence obtained by allegedly illegal search. State v. Bray (A.), 278 S.W.2d 49.

(1955) Testimony of witnesses who accompanied police officers on unlawful search and testimony of others identifying articles seized in such search held inadmissible in prosecution for receiving stolen property. State v. Hunt (Mo.), 280 S.W.2d 37.

(1955) Where highway patrol officer stopped car because lighted firecrackers were being thrown from windows, and observed suspicious merchandise in the car, there was no search. State v. Harre (Mo.), 280 S.W.2d 41.

(1956) Police officers, dispatched to investigate report that burglar alarm in store building was sounding, arrested individuals in truck which was being operated at high speed at night and which turned on its lights on approaching city limits. Arrest of operator held lawful and search of vehicle held proper. State v. Brown (Mo.), 291 S.W.2d 615.

(1956) Where person in control of automobile consented to its search, a passenger in the automobile who was arrested with such person could not object to a search of the auto or of wardrobe bag found in the auto. State v. Green (Mo.), 292 S.W.2d 283.

(1958) Where officer was authorized to arrest a person on suspicion after seeing loaded rifle in back seat of car, a search of the car was lawful and stolen property therein found held admissible. State v. Cantrell (Mo.), 310 S.W.2d 866.

(1958) In prosecution for narcotic violation, on motion to suppress evidence on ground evidence was obtained by unlawful arrest and search, trial court had discretion to require or not to require arresting officer to disclose name of person who gave him information on which arrest was based. State v. Edwards (Mo.), 317 S.W.2d 441.

(1960) Where policeman had stopped car and arrested driver for running red light and through window saw rifles and guns partially covered with blankets and noticed rear end of automobile sagging and asked driver to unlock trunk disclosing merchandise, there was no unreasonable search and seizure and such items were admissible in evidence in burglary prosecution. State v. Mallory (Mo.), 336 S.W.2d 383; Cert. den. 364 U.S. 852, 81 S.Ct. 99, 5 L.Ed.2d 75.

(1960) Where defendant was issued a certificate of occupancy by the department of public safety of the city for occupancy of property to be used as a rooming house and where the defendant applied for permit to operate a rooming house and was actually operating a rooming house, his refusal to permit the inspection of the premises by city inspector constituted resisting officers. The ordinance authorizing the inspection did not constitute unreasonable search and seizure nor did it require self-incrimination. City of St. Louis v. Evans (Mo.), 337 S.W.2d 948.

(1961) Where police and firemen lawfully entered building after fire, their search of the premises was lawful and not unreasonable. State v. Cohn (Mo.), 347 S.W.2d 691.

(1961) Accused could not complain of alleged unlawful search of vehicle which was owned by his codefendant. State v. Martin (Mo.), 347 S.W.2d 680.

(1962) Neither the federal nor state constitution nor any of our statutes requires the magistrate to appoint counsel for the accused in a preliminary examination and accordingly the failure of the record to show such appointment is not ground for setting aside a subsequent conviction based upon an information in the circuit court during the trial of which appellant had counsel. State v. Turner (Mo.), 353 S.W.2d 602.

(1962) Where officer late at night arrested individual for speeding and driving without lights and upon such arrest discovered a metal cash box containing checks payable to an insurance company in the car it was not unlawful thereafter for the officer to search the trunk of the car where he found certain adding machines and calculating machines stolen from an insurance company. State v. Camper (Mo.), 353 S.W.2d 676.

(1962) Where the defendant on trial for the sale of narcotics testified on direct examination that after he was arrested the contents of his stomach were removed and also that the police officers kept the contents and checked it, it was not error for the court to permit the prosecution then to show the results of the check which was to the effect that heroin was found in the defendant's stomach. State v. Odom (Mo.), 353 S.W.2d 708.

(1962) Evidence sufficient to establish that officers had, prior to arrest of defendant, reasonable cause to suspect defendant was guilty of first degree robbery by means of dangerous and deadly weapon and search of closet opening off room in residence where defendant was arrested was reasonable. State v. Redding (Mo.), 357 S.W.2d 103.

(1962) Policeman who heard burglar alarm go off in dry goods store about 8:00 p.m. and found front door locked and defendant standing inside framework of open rear door had reasonable ground to believe defendant had committed or attempted to commit a felony. Arrest and search of defendant's person was lawful and apparatus for use of narcotic drugs found on defendant were properly admitted in prosecution for possession of apparatus for unauthorized use of narcotic drugs. State v. Davenport (Mo.), 360 S.W.2d 710.

(1963) Where officers returned the day following defendant's arrest to search the premises a second time, the second search was not an incident of the arrest and was illegal and admission of defendant's shirt, seized during second search, over defendant's objection was reversible error. State v. Sprout (Mo.), 365 S.W.2d 572.

(1964) Defendant's constitutional rights were not violated by seizure by police of articles lying on dresser in plain sight in motel room where officers obtained key from person in charge of motel, defendant was in flight at the time and there was no showing or contention that motel room was defendant's abode. State v. Enberg (Mo.), 377 S.W.2d 282.

(1964) Search of defendant's automobile without warrant after it was taken to the police department garage following defendant's arrest in motel was too remote in time or place to have been made as incidental to arrest and evidence obtained as result of search was inadmissible. State v. Edmondson (Mo.), 379 S.W.2d 486.

(1964) Evidence obtained from search of premises where defendant's mother resided was properly admitted since constitutional guarantee is a personal one and affords no protection from search to a person who is not the owner of or in possession of the premises and where defendant was not present at time search was made. State v. Anderson (Mo.), 384 S.W.2d 591.

(1967) Where defendant was arrested at scene of accident for driving while intoxicated and taken to police station, search made an hour and a half later at police headquarters was incident to arrest and was not unreasonable. State v. Darabcsek (Mo.), 412 S.W.2d 97.

(1968) Search warrant describing premises to be searched as 310 North Hocker was defective when premises actually searched were at 314 North Hocker. Front yard of premises was within "curtilage" and even though evidence seized was in plain sight it was still subject to suppression in view of improper search warrant. State v. Buchanan (Mo.), 432 S.W.2d 342.

(1971) Where defendant had entered plea of guilty to charge of operating vehicle without consent of owner, contention of defendant in proceeding under court rule 27.26 that trial court should have set aside conviction because based upon unlawful arrest, illegal search, and a confession obtained without presence of counsel was properly overruled since no contention was made that alleged preliminary defects induced the plea of guilty and voluntary plea of guilty precluded relief on such grounds. Rew v. State (Mo.), 472 S.W.2d 611.

(1971) Search of farmhouse kitchen not unreasonable when upon arrest of appellant and other boys present they were lined up against kitchen wall, personally searched, then a search of the kitchen only was conducted. Items received in evidence were found in the kitchen where they were either in plain view or on appellant's person, and officers had seen one of the boys throw something behind stove so it was reasonable to move stove to discover evidence. State v. Erwin (Mo.), 473 S.W.2d 394.

(1972) Admissions contained in letter written while defendant was in jail awaiting trial were not obtained by unconstitutional search because defendant knew his letters would be read by jailers prior to mailing under jail security regulations. State v. Johnson (Mo.), 476 S.W.2d 516.

(1972) Where officer was on his way to burglary and stopped to look in car parked in vicinity and was later informed by radio that items of general description of those he saw in plain sight through car window were taken in the burglary and burglars had not been apprehended, officer had probable cause to search car without search warrant. State v. Brown (Mo.), 476 S.W.2d 519.

(1972) State was not obligated to hold a lineup prior to preliminary hearing and fact that eye witnesses to robbery saw defendant when they appeared at preliminary hearing which defendant waived was not so unnecessarily suggestive and conducive to irreparable mistaken identification that his motion to suppress their in-court identification should have been sustained. State v. Hazelhorst (Mo.), 476 S.W.2d 543.

(1972) Where officer while shining flashlight on sticker on windshield of car to obtain city license number for citation for illegal parking saw hand-rolled cigarette on front seat of car which he believed to contain marijuana and arrested defendant for possession thereof, search of vehicle and defendant, who was standing outside of car, subsequent to arrest and seizure of marijuana revealed thereby was legal. State v. Hawkins (Mo.), 482 S.W.2d 477.

(1974) Held seizure of marijuana was unreasonable search and seizure. See this case for in depth discussion of "search and seizure". Kansas City v. Butters (A.), 507 S.W.2d 49.

(1974) For discussion of law of search and seizure as related to automobiles, see State v. Achter (A.), 512 S.W.2d 894.

(1975) Where allegedly obscene film is being shown in a commercial theater the risk of loss of evidence is not so great so as to authorize seizure without procuring a warrant based on prior judicial determination of probable cause. State v. McMillan (Mo.), 520 S.W.2d 26.

(1975) Warrantless search upheld on "exigent doctrine". State v. Wiley (Mo.), 522 S.W.2d 281. (1975) Evidence seized at time of warrantless arrest where probable cause for arrest was not shown by state was inadmissible as was gun residue test made later. State v. Howell (Mo.), 524 S.W.2d 11.

(1975) Evidence seized at time of warrantless arrest where probable cause for arrest was not shown by state was inadmissible as was gun residue test made later. State v. Howell (Mo.), 524 S.W.2d 11.

---- end of effective  05 Sep 2014 ----

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