reply to post by aboutface
I suppose it all depends upon the circumstances of the search. If this envelope somehow gave reasonable cause at the scene to be looked at, then no
warrant would be necessary.
The problem with reasonable cause is its ambiguity. In the States there is a Supreme Court ruling known as Terry v. Ohio. Police officers use this
ruling in the most absurd ways to justify egregious rights violations.
The facts of Terry v. Ohio are this:
A police officer was sitting in his cruiser across from a bank. While he was sitting in his patrol car he noticed a man on a bicycle with a shot gun
slung across his back riding back and forth in front of the bank. All of this is perfectly legal so the police officer did nothing. Then he noticed
a second man on a bicycle, this one appearing to be unarmed, also riding back and forth in front of the bank and both cyclists seemed to know each
other. Still the police officer did nothing.
Then the police officer noticed a third man, on foot, standing at the corner of the bank but he seemed to be in silent communication with the two
cyclists. This finally compelled the police officer to get out of his cruiser and question the three. I forget the exact circumstances of why the
police officer then searched them, but it was a reasonable search, and this is how the Supreme Court held it after the defense attorney of three would
be bank robbers argued that their clients right to due process of law had been violated. The Supreme Court made a great ruling, that police officer
in that case was a great police officer and law prevailed.
The problem now is that police officers are construing this ruling to mean that they can have personal suspicions about a person walking in their own
neighborhood and detain them, question and frisk them. If the person being frisked complains the police will claim that the Supreme Court says they
can do this, but that is no where near the truth and anyone who knows the law, regardless of whether they know the facts of Terry v. Ohio or not, know
full well its a lie.
My point to this story is that due process of law is being violated all the time because of ignorant cops, or corrupt cops who are erroneously using
case law to justify their unlawful actions. Many of those police officers who think Terry v. Ohio gave them unlimited immunity from restraint and
prosecution would probably tell you that regardless of how the envelope is, whatever the circumstances, if they think that envelope is suspicious due
to the case law I just explained and a few other SCOTUS rulings, they have the lawful authority to search this envelope without a warrant.
This is why we have courts, and high courts, among other reasons. Case law is generally very narrow in its scope and relates solely to the facts of
the case. What you've described is really not enough to reasonably answer, as context of the entire scene is required.