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The fourth Amendment is part of the bill of rights that protects against unlawful searches and

seizures and requires any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause. The
fourth amendment was created in response of the abuse of the writ of assistance, a type of general
search warrant issued by British government and a major source of tension in re revolutionary war.
There are many cases in the past years involving the fourth amendment where the rights given
have been violated such as Terry v Ohio. In the case of Terry v Ohio police Officer Martin McFadden saw
two individuals who he thought that looked like they were ready for a criminal attack. Martin waited
until the individuals walked to the front of the store, Martin noticed the two individuals conspiring with
each other from there Martin stopped the two individuals, martin identified himself as a law
enforcement officer, and he walked them down the street and frisked them for weapons or illegal drugs,
while searching one the men, officer McFadden found a handgun. Both individuals were taken into
custody and charged with carrying a concealed weapon. Terry was one of the individuals who was
arrested claimed that Officer McFadden lacked evidence and probable cause to perform the stop and
frisk. In order to engage in the arrest Officer McFadden would have needed hard evidence that showed
that both the individuals were going to be committing a crime. John Terry claimed that the search was
illegal because the officer violated his right to privacy. On December 12
of 1976 was the case of Terry v
Ohio. The case was placed by John Terry who said that the arrest was a violation of privacy. Terry
believed that Officer McFadden was violating Terrys 4
amendment right, which protects citizens of the
United States from unlawful searches and seizures by police officers or law enforcement agents. The
case between Terry v Ohio was heard in the United States Supreme Court on June 10
of 1968. The
unites States supreme court ruled in the favor of the state because Officer McFaddens was meant and
initiated from evidence and reasonable suspicion. The United States Supreme Court ruled that Officer
McFadden had possessed probable cause, the court viewed the individuals as being a threat allowing
Officer McFadden to conduct a search. John Terry honestly believed that officer McFadden violated
Terrys 4
amendment right but the court ruled in favor of the state because Officer McFadden was in
the right with enough probable cause.
Another case involving the 4
amendment is Aguilar V Texas. Two members of the Huston Texas
police department asked a local justice of the peace to give them a warrant to search a mans home Mr.
Aguilar, they suspected that Mr. Aguilar was in possession of heroin, marijuana and other illegal drugs.
They gave an affidavit to the justice of the peace saying they had reliable information from a credible
person the officers of the presence of the illegal drugs. A search warrant was issued based on the
affidavit. The police officers and federal officers went to Aguilars house knocked on the door and
announced that they were police. The officers heard panic inside the house from there the officers
forced their way into the home and found a pack of heroin from one of the members in the house,
Aguilar attempted to flush the evidence down the toilet. Aguilar was later charged with possession of
heroin. At trial Aguilar attorney objected to the confiscation of the heroin as evidence on fourth
amendment grounds. The objection was overruled and Aguilar was convicted then sentenced to 20
years in the state prison. Justice Goldberg gave the opinion of the U.S Supreme Court. Trying to reverse
the ruling of the Texas Court of criminal appeals, Goldberg kept that information from the trial and it
was presented in the affidavit to the justice of the peace, it did not prove a sufficient foundation for a
finding of probable cause and the evidence takes should not have been admitted in trial. Justice
Goldberg explained while an affidavit does not need to be based on the personal observation of the
person seeking the warrant and that is may contain hearsay information. The person must be told or
informed of some of the reason on why the person is being charged and the reason for the probable
cause of being searched.
A case well known in the 1970s was the case of Schneckloth v. Bustamonte. Officer James Rand
made a traffic stop with a burnt out head light and a non-working license plate light. The car had six
occupants inside. One of them being Joe Alcala who was not driving but gave the officer a drivers
license and told officer Rand the car belonged to his brother. Officer Rand asked if he could search the
car, Alcala gave consent to search the car. Officer rand began to search the car, rand found crumpled up
checks which were stolen from a car wash. The driver Robert Bustamonte, was arrested and convicted
of possessing a stolen check. Bustamonte resisted being arrested, arguing that while he had gave him
permission to search his car, and he had not been informed of his right not to consent to the search.
Justice Stewart had written a letter to the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court ruled that consent to
search is valid as long as it is voluntarily given. Stewart told the police they may not use threats or
coercion to get consent, but that they need to inform the suspects of their right not to consent to a
search. Justice Thurgood Marshall, in dissenting opinion, wrote in the final analysis, the Court now
sanctions a game of blind mans buff, in which the police always have the upper hand, for the sake of
nothing more than the convenience of the police.


Fourth amendment cases

Bryson Davis-Hernandez