The Fourth Amendment Of The United States Constitution

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The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution applies to a person and their home by providing protection against unreasonable seizures and searches. While it provides protection, not every search and seizure can be deemed unreasonable unless it is classified as per the law, by determining whether there was: a) the level of intrusion of the individuals Fourth Amendment, and b) whether or not it pertains to the government’s interest, such as safety of the public.
The right to protection against unreasonable searches and seizures is associated with two types of warrants:
a) Arrest warrant: When probable cause is established that a person has committed a certain illegal act, a written order is then issued by authority of the state
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It is vital for law enforcement to determine whether a search warrant, arrest warrant, or both is needed. When an arrest is to take place within a dwelling where reasonable privacy is expected, law enforcement must determine whether or not the prospective arrestee lives there. If the person to be arrested lives there, only an arrest warrant is needed. If the dwelling belongs to a third party, an arrest warrant and a search warrant is necessary. In order to comply with the Fourth Amendment’s protection of privacy, police must secure the appropriate warrant(s) and knock and announce their presence.

There are three exceptions as to when officers do not need search or arrest warrants and/or announce their presence:
a) Consent: When asking permission to enter, consent may be voluntarily given to law enforcement, as long as the person has authority to do so, e.g. the homeowner. Non-residential landlords, babysitters, caretakers, etc. lack authority to provide consent.
b) Exigent (emergency) situations: Exigent circumstances can exist when the officer believes one or both of the requirements are present:
• Endangerment to the lives or safety of the officer, suspect, or third party
• Knocking and announcing may able the suspect to escape
• Knocking and announcing may lead to the destruction of the evidence
c) Hot pursuit: Police are permitted to enter without knocking when
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