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LAW 514 Business Studies - Free Samples to Students

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In this assignment, you need to work on the Fourth Amendment. Before starting on the assignment, make sure that you read about the Fourth Amendment and understand the nature/features of this amendment related to privacy. The Fourth Amendment safeguards against unreasonable searches and seizures. However, there are certain exceptions to the Fourth Amendment that have been established by precedent. For example, a search of the immediate surroundings as part of a valid arrest is an example of one of these exceptions.

With this understanding that there are established exceptions to the Fourth Amendment, your task for this assignment is to thoroughly review the Fourth Amendment and list the exceptions to it. Write a brief summary listing the exceptions and explaining why you think the listed exceptions are permissible. 



The fourth amendment, as provided in the constitution of the U.S. stipulates that people have a right to security and be protected against unwarranted search by the police in their houses, persons, cell phones. The amendment protects them against unreasonable seizures and searches and such a right is not to be violated, warrants shall not be given except upon probable causes that have support through affirmation or oath with particular description of the places of search including the things or persons to undergo seizure. The primary objective of the provision under the law involves having the right of people regarding freedom and privacy protected from the government’s intrusions found to be unreasonable (LaFave, 2014). However, this statute does not guarantee the protection from all forms of seizures and searches except for those that the government does and are deemed quite unreasonable by the law. For people to claim violation of this amendment as the cause of suppressing relevant evidence for a given case, the court had the requirement that the claimant is to prove being the victim of invaded privacy so that there is valid standing for claiming to be protected by the provisions. The Supreme Court has however, departed from the requirements after an aspect of exception was determined to entirely offer a solution to the substantive querry of whether there was a violation of rights as stipulated (Slobogin, 2013). The claimant is required to demonstrate an expectation of privacy that is justifiable to have been violated by the government arbitrarily. Generally most warrantless searches on people are prohibited under this fourth amendment except for specified exceptions.

For instance warrantless searches may be lawful when officers are asked or given the consent to conduct a search; if such searches are incident to arrest that is lawful, when a probable cause for searching exists, or an exigent circumstance exits, calling for this type of search. Exigent situations occur when there is a case with people being in imminent danger, prior to the imminent escape of a suspect or where the evidence is about to be imminently destroyed by the suspect (Slobogin, 2013).

Additionally warrantless seizure or search of peoples’ property is not illegal when there is a case of plain view regarding the objects of search. This is supported by the case of abandoned property or the properties found in open fields which also do not violate the amendment. The reason is that having a privacy expectation to such properties is not reasonable. However, some states have an exception to this form of limitation as the authorities grant the protection to properties in open fields (LaFave, 2014). These states are able to establish higher search and seizure standards of protection, than provided in the fourth amendment, provided they do not violate its various provisions.

The other case of exception is found in situations where the victim consents to the act of search of seizure after being a suspect. The fourth amendment right is to be waived when there is a voluntary consent to the search by the suspect or the victims fails to object to the various evidence collected by the police during a warrantless seizure or search.  

From the evaluation it is clear that the fourth amendment has several exceptions in cases of consent by suspects, property in open fields or unclaimed, people are in imminent danger, evidence is in imminent destruction.


LaFave, W. R. (2014). Search and seizure: a treatise on the Fourth Amendment (Vol. 4). West Group Publishing.  

Slobogin, C. (2013). The Poverty Exception to the Fourth Amendment. Fla. L. Rev., 55, 391.

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