Thefourth amendment protects the people to be secure in their persons, house,papers, and effects, against unreasonable search and seizures.
This means thatno law enforcement officer is able to search a person’s property or confiscateany evidence found in connection to a crime unless they have a warrant. Thefourth amendment states that no warrants shall be issue unless it is supportedby probable cause. Probable cause is a requirement found in the fourthamendment needed before getting a warrant in order to make an arrest,therefore, an officer has to make sure that the probable cause exists. Accordingto Hemmes (2017) warrants are required to describe the subject of their searchwith “particularity” (Hemmes, 2017, p. 41). Meaning that when getting a warrant,it has to be specific with who or what specifically are they searching. Probablecause is found when they believe that someone has committed a crime or when theybelieve evidence of a crime is present in a place.
Hemmes (2017) stated that,”probable cause is best defined as a fair probability that a crime hasoccurred” (p.42). In1961, Dollree Mapp was convicted after police officers forcibly enter her houselooking for a fugitive. When searching her house instead of finding a fugitivethey found obscene materials.
The Mapp v. Ohio case ruled that evidenceobtained violating the fourth amendment cannot be used against the suspect. Thiscase was very important regarding the exclusionary rule. According to Hemmes(2017) evidence obtained by law enforcement officers in violation of the FourthAmendment is not admissible in a criminal trial to prove guilt (Hemmes, 2017,p. 255). The officers did not have the right to enter her house and search herbelongings without a warrant. They violated her privacy looking through her belongings.
Therefore, the evidence obtained illegally will not be acceptable when taken tocourt. The fourth amendment and the exclusionaryrule protects our rights as citizens and from police misconduct. It protects usin a way that we are supposed to feel secure in our house and that anythingthat is our property won’t be illegally and forcibly search. It also protectsus from police misconduct in a way that police officer just won’t come instraight to our house and accuse us of something that we didn’t do withouthaving a warrant.
This amendment is very important because it requires for lawenforcement officers to have a probable cause to look over things that are ourswithout us feeling that they have violated our privacy.