Topics: Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, United States Constitution, Searches and seizures Pages: 3 (706 words) Published: April 20, 2015

What would we do without the Fourth Amendment? The fourth amendment actually states that it is “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, house, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches, and that they shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” This means that there has to be a legitimate reason that fulfills the warrant clause, based on probable cause. The government wanted this amendment because it brought justice to searching people, places, and belongings in the U.S. The fourth amendment orders that searches are only conducted under a warrant, with some exceptions to this requirement. For instance in crisis situation where the delay in getting a warrant would make the search useless, it is allowed. This is referred to as a “time is of the essence” clause. A valid arrest automatically permits the police to search the surroundings of the subject per se and the subject to disarm him/her and to prevent evidence from being destroyed or tainted. The same rule applies to cars and other vehicles because they may transport or contain contraband. The purpose of this amendment is to “discourage unlawful searches.” This amendment does seem to have reduced the incidence of unlawful searches of innocent people. The fourth amendment was written in October of 1774, when the Continental Congress protested with the king over the government officials having search power. After the Declaration of Independence was written, the individual state constitutions of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Massachusetts Protected against random searches. A possible model for the fourth amendment was the Massachusetts Declaration of Right; and it was the first to use the phrase “unreasonable searches and seizures.” This amendment possesses two clauses: the first clause...
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