The 4th Amendment 

Ocgtober 5th, 2021

he Fourth Amendment grants U.S. citizens the right “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures.” This right is not to be violented unless it is acceptable by law.


Importance of the Fourth Amendment 

The Founding Father’s concern about the government overstepping their authority and power to undermine the rights of citizens influenced the formation of the Fourth Amendment. The amendment was created to protect people against unreasonable searches and warrants by law enforcement officers. This includes unwarranted arrests and search warrants. For example, if a person’s house is searched by law enforcement without a warrant or if personal documents are taken away, it is considered unlawful. The Fourth Amendment outlines the power and authority of the police and enforces boundaries when it comes to respecting the rights of U.S. citizens. However, when a warrant is issued for a reasonable cause, then law enforcement has the right to search a home or arrest someone lawfully.


Constitutional Rights Threatened  

Since 1791, the Fourth Amendment has progressively weakened against the force of government. In the 1968 Supreme Court case Terry v. Ohio, the court ruled in favor of police stopping people with reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. In addition, frisking detainees and the seize of weapons if danger is suspected is deemed lawful. Therefore, the primary holding stated that under the Fourth Amendment, a law enforcement officer could stop a suspicious person on the street and frisk them without the intent of arrest if there is a reasonable cause. A likely reason for a stop is if the officer suspects the person has committed, is committing, or will commit a crime. These rulings by the Supreme Court resulted in an infringement of the fourth amendment. 


The rights of U.S. citizens are endangered by the lack of enforcement and acknowledging of constitutional rights. In the 2002 Supreme Court case Illinois v. Wardlow, it was ruled that an individual standing alone was not enough of a reason to expect suspicion of a crime. However, the court ruled that an unprovoked flight from law enforcement is sufficient to stop a person. In the 2021 court case Caniglia v. Storm, police unlawfully confiscated the handgun of a male homeowner without a warrant or permission. The entry into a man’s home and seizure of his gun is a violation of his Fourth Amendment right. As many courts’ decisions erode the constitutional right of U.S. citizens, it’s imperative to work with a criminal defense attorney if your constitutional rights are violated. 


Protecting Your Constitutional Rights

At the Law Office of Larrion L. Hillman, we fight to protect the constitutional rights of clients. The Fourth Amendment is vital to ensure the protection of U.S. citizens from the unlawful acts committed by law enforcement. The amendment was intended to protect people and their property from being violated with no probable cause. With over 25 years of criminal defense experience, Larrion L. Hillman is dedicated to protecting your constitutional rights. 


If you or someone you know has experienced an unconstitutional run-in with the law, contact the Law Office of Larrion L Hillman at 318-549-9180.

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