The Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that:

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.

It is one of our constitutional privileges that, along with other provisions of the Bill of Rights, prevents our living in a police state.  It is a right that balances liberty and security, and one that has found defenders among libertarians, liberals, and conservatives.  It is a right that is cherished by all freedom-loving Americans.

As with most anything today, there are many great sources for learning about Fourth Amendment rights on the internet. Thus, without endorsing any of them, here are some resources you might use to better educate yourself about what rights are—and are not—granted by this provision.  As always, if you have a particular question about a specific situation, you need to hire an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction who can give you legal advice.  You can’t get legal advice from this site, from any of the sites listed below, or from anywhere else on the public internet.

General Information

United States Courts

United States Congress

National Constitution Center

The Judicial Learning Center

The Heritage Foundation

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

Rutherford Institute


Recent 4th Am Cases

Know Your Rights Electronic Devices

 Electronic Frontier Foundation

Know Your Rights Police

Broward County Public Defender

King County Prosecutor’s Office

Flex Your Rights

Flex Your Rights 10 Rules