The 4th amendment written in the Bill of rights was passed on December 15, 1791. This amendment was very important and is very commonly used. This amendment states that police are prohibited doing any unreasonable searches or seizures without a warrant. Police are only allowed to search your property if there is an obvious problem going on and it can’t be second guessed.
Some things that a police can search with a warrant are legal papers, your home, and private property. This amendment is important because it helps with our safety and others. For example, if you were to be stopped because you were speeding and when you get pulled over, the police smells alcohol he is allowed to search your car for any other things that could be illegal or harmful to other. The police can do this without getting a warrant because it’s not a huge crime that the person is committing but is instead it’s a search for your safety. This amendment took a while to get passed but once it did many issues were resolved and it became very commonly used quickly. This amendment has three major parts, what is considered search and seizures, what constitutes probable cause these actions, and what the consequences of violating this amendment are. The 4th amendment was passed when Sir Edward Coke brought up the idea that your property should be for you only and not available to anyone. A famous line he said was “The house of every one is to him as his castle and fortress, as well for his defense against injury and violence as for his repose”, (HistoryBehind4thAmendment, 2013).
However, the original creation of this amendment was when the British would continually search the Patriots houses for any. This made the Patriots feel uncomfortable and made them feel unsafe since any British soldier could come and tell them to step out of their own house while they search it for anything that could have been valuable or useful to the British at the time. At this time period, no British needed any reasoning or permission from the government to search the Patriots house. The British continuously searching the Patriots houses is one of the main reasons that the amendment was passed.
Even though this amendment protects you from your belongings to being searched in public, there are some scenarios that a police officer can go through your stuff. The act of a police looking through your car or home without a warrant from the governor giving him or her permission is called Probable Cause. Probable cause is used many times daily and is very important. Many people argue when what should be considered probable cause and what should require an actual paper to be searched. For example, currently in the United States, your phone or any other electronic device you may own, cannot be searched without a warrant.
The argument with this is that, no policeman should be allowed to look through your phone no matter what crime you may have committed. However, many crimes committed have some sort of connection with an electrical device. For example, with the ability to search one’s phone, you can get information on who helped someone commit a crime and even who is actually guilty. A cop can go to the calls on the criminal’s phone or even trace down what the suspect was doing at any given time.Probable cause is reasonable grounds or in other words, a cop must have some facts or any evidence to go through anything that they may make them believe that someone was involved with a criminal or illegal act (FixYourRights, 2016). Some examples of probable cause are, any smell of contraband in their view or smell or if an officer can sense something is up by your facial expressions and if you look nervous or like you’re hiding something.