4th Amendment

Topics: Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Supreme Court of the United States, Law Pages: 5 (2115 words) Published: December 7, 2012
All Americans are entitled to their rights. The Fourth Amendment states that we the people have to deny search and seizures from law enforcement without a warrant. The fourth amendment generally prohibits police from entering a home without a warrant unless the circumstances fit an established exception to the warrant requirement. According to the book The Constitution: Our Written Legacy by Joseph A. Melusky, the Fourth Amendment gives the right of the people to be secure in their person, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures. Although we are entitled to these rights, police sometimes use and abuse their authority. In many cases, the Fourth Amendment has helped prove the innocence of one’s actions. Citizens of the United States may benefit from the Fourth Amendment because we are entitled to a list of rights. There are many exceptions that override our rights. The acronym SPACESHIP helps people remember the exceptions to the Fourth Amendment. Search incident to arrest

Plain View
Emergency or exigency
Stop and frisk
Hot and pursuit
S(P)ecial circumstances

The first letter of the acronym is S which stands for search incident to lawful to arrest. This means once someone has been arrested they have to be searched. The police have the right to get involve if they suspect someone has something to do with illegal activity. In the court case California V. Acevedo (oyez.org) Charles Acevado was arrested for marijuana that was found when the officers stopped his car and searched his bag. The officers didn’t have a warrant to search his vehicle. The California court appeals ruled that the marijuana was not to be used as evidence in his defense. Officers were previously given permission by the Supreme Court to search an automobile if they have probable cause to believe there is evidence in the vehicle. The officers didn’t have a search warrant to search a closed container. The officers knew there was something in the bag but they could not open or search the bag without a warrant. The Supreme Court disagreed and denied the review but granted the state’s petition. Even though the cops found evidence while searching Acevado’s vehicle that can penalize him, they weren’t suppose to search any place outside of the approved area the Supreme Court ruled that it was unlawful to hold him accountable for any evidence they found. This case shows that even though we have these lists of rights that we are granted, if the cops suspect an illegal activity they will go against the law and we the citizens would still be victimized because of their actions. The second letter of the acronym is P, which stands for plain view. This exception states that law enforcement can arrest someone if they see illegal activities such as drugs or weapons they have the right to search you. They cannot search you if you have personally belongings around you without your consent but they can search you if you have a bag or luggage or any pockets that’s on your actual body. For example, a case that’s deals with this exception is Florida V. Jimeno (oyez.org). Enio Jimeno was pulled over for a traffic violation because a county police officer overheard Jimeno arranging a drug transaction over a public phone. Jimeno gave the officer permission to search the vehicle and the officer found cocaine while searching through his bags. Jimeno argued in the trial that the officer was only supposed to search the car and not the bag. The drugs were thrown out of the case because they violated the Fourth Amendment and it was an unconstitutional search so they could not use the evidence that they found from his vehicle. The Florida District Court of Appeal and the Florida Supreme Court both affirmed (oyez.org). The cops can place a person under arrest but they’re innocence until proven guilty. This is a great example of how law enforcements don’t respect citizen’s rights. Although we have these...
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