The Fourth Amendment

Topics: Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, United States Constitution, Law Pages: 7 (2793 words) Published: April 22, 2013
This paper will investigate the fourth amendment, unlawful search and seizure, and will explain what is considered to be unlawful and what is not. This paper will also discuss the right of privacy that Americans are entitled to as citizens of the United States. Events that have marked history in regards to the fourth amendment will also be explored, explaining the nature of searches and the key components that coincide. The court ruling in the historic case of Arizona vs. Gant will be explored in detail. This court case set out to establish what was actually considered unlawful, and what guidelines must be followed to be considered lawful. The case suggests that because of probable case that a search would then in fact be lawful. But in this case it is discussed that even when probable cause is present, there is still factors that must be considered.

Unlawful Search and Seizure
Imagine being pulled over while driving on a suspended license; you are handcuffed, and placed in the backseat of a squad car, while the officer searches your car, without your consent. There you are sweating profusely, nervous of what may and will be found, and then it is found, in the glove box a gun and drugs. What should be said in defense? What should be done? Was this in fact a situation where unlawful search and seizure had taken place? Did this go against your constitutional rights as a citizen? There was no consent, but there was probable cause because of the suspended license. Imagine driving with friends and you are speeding. You are then pulled over, the officer smells marijuana, and arrest everyone inside of the vehicle. He then returns to the vehicle, and searches it finding cocaine in a jacket coat pocket. Was this too an act of unlawful search and seizure? Did this go against your reasonable expectation of privacy? The Bill of Rights

Many of us may struggle when it comes to knowledge about laws, and our constitutional rights as citizens. We want to protect ourselves from situations that may be unconstitutional, but may not be aware of our rights when unconstitutional behavior occurs. When The U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1788 and 1799 there were not many laws set in place in regards to the criminal justice system. “The Fourth Amendment was adopted as a response to the abusive search and seizure practices used by the British government during the American colonial period. The colonists were particularly concerned about broad, particularized searches performed under the authority of general warrants. General warrants authorized searches for persons or papers not named specifically in the warrant” (Josephson, 1996). The U.S. Constitution did not set forth the rights of individuals in enough detail; so ten amendments were added in 1791, and were called the Bill of Rights (Cole & Smith, 2011). According to Cole and Smith (2011), The Bill of Rights are the first ten amendments that were added to the U.S. Constitution to provide specific rights for individuals, including criminal justice rights concerning searches, trials, and punishments. Unlawful search and seizure is the fourth amendment, which is a part of the first ten amendments. Unlawful Search and Seizure

The Fourth Amendment states: the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated and no Warrant shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath and affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized (Cole & Smith, 2011). Unlawful search and seizure was made to limit the capability of law enforcement officers to search a person or property in order to obtain evidence. It is believed that law enforcement should not be able to pursue criminals at all cost. A search is a court document that gives law enforcement the authority to examine and hunt for evidence in...
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