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What is the 4th Amendment?

Search & Seizure

There are 27 Amendments in the United States Constitution. The first 10 are referred to as the Bill of Rights. In this post we will be discussing the basic function of the 4th Amendment which governs search and seizure cases.

The 4th Amendment reads:

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.

This amendment protects US citizens from unlawful searches and seizures in relation to their body, homes, documents and records, as well as things on their person or in their homes. From 1791 until 1961 this amendment was only acknowledged on national cases. In 1961 the Supreme Court held that the 4th Amendment also applies to state prosecution.

Missouri has a similar amendment added to their state constitution located in Article 1, Section 15, which reads:

That the people shall be secure in their persons, papers, homes and effects, from unreasonable searches and seizures; and no warrant to search any place, or seize any person or thing, shall issue without describing the place to be searched, or the person or thing to be seized, as nearly as may be; nor without probable cause, supported by written oath or affirmation. 

Throughout the next few blog posts, we will be unveiling different examples of an unreasonable search and seizure, the different types of searches and seizures recognized by the government, and how to better educate yourself on a very important law protecting our rights as citizens of the United States.

St. Louis, Missouri Search & Seizure Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been product of an unlawful search and seizure or have questions regarding what stands for a reasonable search and seizure, our attorneys can help. Call Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C. to schedule a free consultation 24/7.