The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article II, Section 10 of the New Mexico State Constitution protect us against unreasonable searches and seizures. This means that law enforcement are required to first get a search warrant before going into someone's house or car to seize evidence. A search warrant is issued by a judge and is a court order that authorizes law enforcement officers to conduct a search of a person or a location for evidence of criminal activity and to seize that evidence.
The U.S Constitution and the New Mexico State Constitution require that searches be reasonable and specific. Therefore, a search warrant must specifically state the exact place and object that may be searched. A warrantless search, therefore, is presumed to be unreasonable. There are, however, a few recognized exceptions that make warrantless searches reasonable and permissible.
These include exigent circumstances, searches incident to arrest, inventory searches, consent, hot pursuit, open field, and plain view. When law enforcement conducts a warrantless search, it is the responsibility of the state to prove that the warrantless search was reasonable. This can be done by proving that the warrantless search fits into one of the recognized exceptions to the warrant requirement listed above.