Criminal or Civil

Criminalor Civil


Criminalor Civil

Thefirst ten amendments of the United States Constitution make up theBill of Rights to protect the liberties of the people. The FourthAmendment entails search and seizure (Rivera, 2004). Thus, before thepolice can engage in a search, they have to appear before amagistrate and prove that they have enough reason to conduct a search(Rivera, 2004). The Fifth Amendment protects the rights of a personin a criminal proceeding in court where he or she should have a fairhearing before a grand jury. Besides, a person cannot be tried twicefor the same offense (Watts, 2010). The Sixth Amendment guaranteesthe rights and protections of people accused of crimes. Hence, one tobe informed of the trials he or she is facing and has the right toconfront witnesses as well as the right to a speedy trial. Lastly,the Eighth Amendment indicates that the amount of bail, fines, andpunishment imposed on a suspect should be reasonable (Watts, 2010).

TheFourth Amendment has a significant effect on the process of lawenforcement and the functioning of courts in the United States. Itstates that a search warrant is required for one’s property to besearched by the police officers (Watts, 2010). Although it guaranteesthe freedoms of the citizens, it limits the functionality of lawenforcement officers. Once law enforcement officers acquireinformation, a defendant can question how it was obtained withoutviolating this right. Therefore, in some occasions the courts haverecanted information against suspects on grounds that it was acquiredby means that infringed on the rights of an individual (Farb, 2002).

Consequently,I do not agree with the way that this right has been applied in thecriminal justice system. The right gives guilty suspects an upperhand in a criminal trial as the law enforcers are left with adifficult task to prove their case (Farb, 2002). Forexample, an encounter between Detective MartinMcFadden,who waspatrolling downtown Cleveland, with John Terry showed that the rightinhibitsthe proper functioning of law enforcers.The detective was patrolling and suspected three men were about toshoplift a store on the street. He confronted them and in theprocess, he grabbed Terry and spun him around to frisk him where hefound a pistol on him. Terry was convicted of carrying a concealedweapon, but the court concluded that both the forcible stop and thefrisking was an action regulated by the Fourth Amendment. Therefore,although the law is meant to benefit the people, it has significantlyundermined the work of the law enforcers. Thus, it acts asa setback to law enforcement in the country (Rivera, 2004).


Farb,R. (2002). The Fourth Amendment, Privacy, and Law Enforcement.PopularGovernment.Retrieved from

Rivera,S. (2004). Billof Rights.Edina, Minn: Abdo Pub.

Watts,D. (2010). Dictionaryof American Government and Politics.Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.