Section 2 | Fourth Amendment Cases

Fundamental Cases on the Fourth Amendment by Adam J. McKee

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 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.

—Fourth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States

The U.S. Supreme Court has stated that there is a strong preference for warrants.  All warrants require probable cause.  However, the Court has recognized numerous exceptions to the warrant requirement.  One of these exceptions is stop and frisk. Physical evidence (e.g., weapons, drugs, documents, clothing) is crucial in many prosecutions. However, the admissibility of such evidence may be challenged on many grounds, including violations of the Fourth Amendment.  It is thus important for criminal justice personnel to have a firm understanding of the basics of Fourth Amendment law.  Much evidence is discovered after an arrest and during warrant executions, etc.  However, if the arrest, warrant, or warrant execution is invalid, the evidence may have to be excluded.

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Modification History

File Created: 07/30/2018
Last Modified:  08/10/2018



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