Friday, August 5, 2011


The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects citizens and criminal suspects from unreasonable searches of their property and persons, and prohibits police officers from making unlawful arrests ("seizures"). Although this may seem straightforward, the law on these rights is not necessarily so. This section contains information on searches and seizures, what the law requires from police, what constitutes "probable cause", and much more. Click on the links below to get started:
"Search and Seizure" Basics:

"Search and Seizure" and the Fourth Amendment - An outline of the guarantees provided by the Fourth Amendment, when it applies, and violations of the right.
Search and Seizure Law - An in-depth look at what may constitute unreasonable searches and seizures, individuals' expectations of privacy, and more.
Searches and Seizures FAQ - Explanations of just what a "search" is, search warrants, police powers, traffic stops, impounds, and more.
Searches and Seizures: The Limitations of the Police - What police may, and may not do, when it comes to searches and seizures of people and their property.
Probable Cause - Clarification on just what it means for police to have "probable cause".

See also:

Police Misconduct and Civil Rights - Find out what happens in circumstances where police conduct illegal searches or seizures.

Search and Seizure and the Fourth Amendment In-Depth:

When is an Arrest a Legal Arrest? - An explanation of when an arrest has taken place, and its legality.
When the Fourth Amendment Applies - An outline of when the Fourth Amendment's protections apply.
Search Warrants: What They Are and When They're Necessary - A close look at warrants and when they are required.
The Fourth Amendment Warrant Requirement - A more detailed explanation of the warrant requirement.
The "Reasonableness" Requirement - Information on what the "reasonableness" requirement demands from police.
The Fourth Amendment and the "Exclusionary Rule" - Learn about how the law penalizes police for improper searches and seizures.
U.S. Constitution: The Fourth Amendment - The text of the Fourth Amendment, with explanatory annotations.
Sample State Court Decisions on "Search and Seizure" - Some state court cases interpreting state law on search and seizure.
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