The Fourth Amendment, made in 1791, is about unreasonable search and seizures. The Fourth Amendment guarantees “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches or 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”. In this paper I will be examining the Fourth Amendment, requirements for obtaining a search warrant, defining probable cause, and describing when search and seizure does not require a warrant. I will also explain the rationale behind allowing warrantless searches, examine the logic behind these reasons, and determine if probable cause is always necessary to conduct a search.
This means the police cannot come into a home without a court order in the form of a search warrant. A judge may issue a search warrant if the agency requesting the warrant has shown, by an affidavit, that probable cause exists that criminal activity has taken place. The affidavit must list all information and evidence the officer feels regarding sufficient evidence to constitute probable cause to justify a warrant being issued. The search warrant must list specific criminal activity, detail the property or items to be searched or seized, and name the person or place location to be searched, except as permitted under state law. A warrant is not necessary to conduct a search if the circumstances at the time of the search are necessary to prevent physical harm, the concealment or destruction of evidence, or the escape of a suspect and there is not enough time to obtain a search warrant beforehand.
Probable cause is defined as a reasonable belief that a crime has been committed; that evidence is at the place being searched or on the person being searched, or that a specific person is believed to have committed, is committing, or will commit a...