Tag Archives: Bill of Rights

fourth amendment, your rights, privacy, search and seizure, search warrantThe first Ten Amendments to the United States Constitution is known as the Bill of Rights. Under the Bill of Rights, Americans are guaranteed certain fundamental rights that protect them from government intervention into their personal affairs. Among those rights is the Fourth Amendment right protecting a person against unreasonable search and seizure.

The Fourth Amendment also requires that a warrant, based upon probable cause, must be issued by an impartial magistrate before the government is allowed to search any persons house, papers, or “effects.” However, there are few exceptions to this rule, which allow law enforcement into your home without a warrant, such as emergency circumstances or consent.

 The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that a reasonable expectation of privacy also exists in those areas immediately surrounding a house or dwelling, known as the curtilage. This means that law enforcement cannot come up to an individual’s windows and peer in with hopes of finding contraband or incriminating evidence. It has always been within the rights of law enforcement to walk up to a person’s door and knock, looking to speak with the someone inside. However, the Supreme Court had never spoken to those times when law enforcement walks up to an individuals door with a narcotics dog and knocks, looking to speak to someone inside, until 2013 in Florida v. Jardines, 133 S.Ct. 1409 (2013).

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