Essay about The Fourth Amendmet

Submitted By DUTCH74
Words: 2301
Pages: 10

American Government
The Fourth Amendmet
March 21, 2011

Amendment Number IV

Amendment number IV was added to Constitution of the United States on December 15,
1791. This amendment gives the people of the United States protection from government agencies and other agencies from entering or searching their homes, and their own private property without a search warrant. Search warrants are obtained by a government official, in most cases a detective or police officers are the ones attempting to obtain these types of warrants.
For a warrant to be issued, a government official has to go before a judge and present him or her with substantial evidence or have probable cause that a crime has or is being committed. After the judge takes all of the evidence presented to him for the request of the search warrant and sees reason for probable cause; the warrant is then issued. The warrant has to be written for a specific reason; not just for anything. Warrants have to say exactly what the government officials are looking for and where they need to look. “In 1886, in a case called Boyd vs. United States, the Supreme Court of the United States referred to Entick vs. Carrington as a ''great judgment,''
''one of the landmarks of English liberty,'' and ''one of the permanent monuments of the British
Constitution". This established the Entick decision as a guide to understanding what the
Founding Fathers meant concerning search and seizure laws when they wrote the 4th
Amendment” (Revolutionary War and Beyond, 2010). At one time the 4th Amendment was only applied towards the United State federal
Government, but due to the clause in the fourteenth Amendment of the United States constitution, the Supreme Court enforces all of the parts of the Bill of rights to local as well as state governments. The 4th Amendment has some exceptions; the (revolutionary War and Beyond/4th amendment
2010) lists these exceptions, “The Plain View Doctrine - An officer may seize anything in plain view, that is, as long as

he has probable cause to believe it has been involved in a crime”.

“The Open Fields Doctrine - Warrants are not needed to search open fields or outdoor

areas, even on private property. The Court has ruled that it is not reasonable to expect privacy in

an open field. This does not include the area immediately around a private dwelling, which is

known as cartilage”.

“Exigent circumstances - This means that if the officer believes there is immediate danger to

his life or others, or to someone's private property, and he believes there is some emergency

where there is no intent to arrest or seize evidence, the warrant requirement is waived. An

example would be that he believes a suspect is hiding a gun under the couch on which he is

sitting and believes he might try to use it. In this case, the officer could search for and seize the

gun without a warrant”.

“Motor Vehicle Exception - The Supreme Court has ruled that vehicles do not have the

same protection as private dwellings. Vehicles may not be stopped randomly. There must be

probable cause to stop a vehicle. Items that are in plain view can be confiscated and other areas

of the vehicle can be searched if there is probable cause. Officers may not search the occupants

of the vehicle unless there is reasonable suspicion of a crime having been committed”.

“Searches incident to a lawful arrest - If a lawful arrest is made, an officer can search the

person and the area immediately around the person without obtaining a search warrant”. “Border search exception - Searches conducted at US borders or international airports can be

conducted randomly without reasonable suspicion of a crime having been committed.