04 Jul What Is the Fourth Amendment?
Here in the United States, we are granted a lot of rights and freedoms thanks to the US Constitution. Many of the most basic rights we have come from the Bill of Rights, which is the first ten amendments of the Constitution. One of the many important amendments there is the Fourth Amendment.
The Fourth Amendment prevents unreasonable search and seizures of a person’s property. The official wording is as follows:
“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.”
What this means, is that law enforcement officials cannot search or take a citizen’s belongings unless they have reasonable suspicion that criminal activity has or will take place, or have a warrant. This also states that the officers can only search and seize things that are listed on the warrant they presented.
This simple law protects a person from having their house searched, and belongings taken without reasonable cause. Reasonable cause means that officers cannot simply search a person because they feel like it. Instead they need to find proof and provide enough evidence that warrants their need to search the house.
The Fourth Amendment is one of many laws within the US Constitution that helps protect everyday citizens from government officials abusing their powers. This is why the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights is so important. They give us our rights and freedoms, and help keep the government from abusing its power.