Study Guide

Constitution - Fourth Amendment

Fourth Amendment

Passed by Congress: 25 September 1789
Ratified: 15 December 1791


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.

The Fourth Amendment protects citizens from unreasonable harassment by the police. Police officers have no right to arrest people or to search through their personal property without first receiving a warrant (a court order approving the search or seizure upon probable cause of wrongdoing).