The Sanders Firm, P.C.: Understanding the Fourth Amendment

At the Sanders Firm, P.C. in New York City, we are passionate about preserving Fourth Amendment rights and helping clients find justice when the government has violated their rights. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. It guarantees important freedoms related to the power of law enforcement and the courts. It is the foundation for what is considered to be the fair and equitable treatment of those who may be suspected or accused of a crime.

The Fourth Amendment and You

Like all amendments to the Constitution, the Fourth Amendment relates directly to your life. If it did not exist, your everyday existence in the United States would be quite different. Its provisions allow us to be safe in our homes and free from government interference. Specifically it protects us from “unreasonable searches and seizures” making our homes and property safe from the whims of those in authority. Also covered by the Fourth Amendment are searches of anything on our person, such as handbags, backpacks, computer cases, vehicles (which are only protected to a degree), and any other type of property.

The amendment states, “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, which is one sentence, contains some of the most essential protections that are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and that define our democracy. These protections help ensure that we can live our lives freely.

Elements of the Amendment

The Sanders Firm, P.C. has created a special section focusing on this very important amendment. In this section devoted to the Fourth Amendment and your rights, we’ll focus on five specific areas of the law. Some of these subjects are specifically mentioned in the amendment, while over time others have come to be associated with it.

The subjects we’ll consider will be:

• Searches
• Seizure of Person
• Excessive Force
• Seizure of Property
• Suspected Child Abuse

Read through each page carefully. They will not only help you understand the law and your civil rights, but they will offer a practical reference for your life if your freedoms under the Fourth Amendment are ever violated. No one, no matter what their authority may be, has the right to invade your home, search your belonging, take your property, or arrest you without probable cause. It is that simple.

Amendment Exceptions

There are exceptions to the need to acquire a warrant. If you consent to a search, no warrant is required. Also when something is in the field of view and in plain sight it may be seized if connected to illegal activity or if it serves as evidence. If law enforcement finds itself in a situation when they have probable cause and it would be impractical or dangerous to acquire a warrant, then they may proceed in conducting a search. Also warrants are not required for border searches, searches that are incident to arrest, or foreign intelligence surveillance.

Are Your Rights Intact?

If you live in the New York City metro area, please know that The Sanders Firm, P.C. is ready to serve you if the government has violated your civil rights. The Fourth Amendment permits us to live in our homes and live our lives free from government intervention. Law enforcement cannot willfully enter your home without a good reason. Imagine if that were not the case? What type of nation would we live in?

If you feel that the government has violated your Fourth Amendment rights, contact The Sanders Firm, P.C., your voice for justice. We will strive to protect your civil rights under the Fourth Amendment. We are here to help you.