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4th amendment

by hanna

why was the 4th amendment included into the bill of rights?

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Feb 17, 2018
Purpose of the 4th Amendment
by: Jaxine

The 4th Amendment had its origins in the British "writs of assistance" that were used by colonial officials to search for smuggled contraband. The colonists had a habit of trying to evade customs taxes on imported goods because the taxes were so high. In response, the customs officials would get a "writ of assistance," which gave them authority to search any private property, any time they wanted.

This greatly angered the colonists and was one of their chief grievances against the Crown. When the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution, the citizens wanted their rights spelled out very clearly when it came to searches, seizures of private property and warrants.

The 4th Amendment generally requires that in order for a search to be conducted of private property, a warrant must be issued by a judge and only when there has been probable cause demonstrated that a crime has been committed. There are some exceptions, but generally speaking, if evidence of a crime is obtained outside of this process, the search and seizure is illegal and the evidence is not admissible in court.

Learn more about the history and protections of the 4th Amendment here. Read about some of the most significant 4th Amendment Court Cases here. Check out this page: http://www.revolutionary-war-and-beyond.com/4th-amendment.html

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