The Fourth Amendment and the Right to Be Secure in Your House

The Fourth Amendment and the Right to Be Secure in Your House, Fourth Amendment, United States Constitution, Article 1 Paragraph 7, New Jersey Constitution, Atlantic County, Bergen County, Burlington County, Camden County, Cape May County, Cumberland County, Essex County, Gloucester County, Hudson County, Hunterdon County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Morris County, Ocean County, Passaic County, Salem County, Somerset County, Sussex County, Union County, Warren County, criminal defense, drunk driving, traffic ticket, juvenile, attorney, lawyerThis past weekend, a police tactical unit forcibly entered a Gloucester Township home, per nj dot com. In their inimitable fashion, the cops broke open the garage door Sunday morning with a robot. But was this absolutely necessary? After all, according to the media, the cops destroyed the private property despite having full access to family members who lived there. Indeed, after a juvenile had called the police earlier that night, everyone left the house. Furthermore, the family members went directly to the police to file complaints. But about two hours after everyone left, a neighbor heard the man banging on the front door and yelling, “Let me in!”

The foregoing suggests the last person to leave the house locked the front door. It also suggests the suspect had not locked the front door. Thus, by process of elimination, it would have been a family member who locked the front door. Therefore, did the person lock the door and forget the key? That’s doubtful! In any event, the cops charged the man with aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of children and other offenses.

The Fourth Amendment and the Right to Be Secure in Your House

The warrantless search and seizure of a person’s home is presumptively unreasonable under the U.S.1 and New Jersey2 Constitution. Furthermore, of the places that the constitution protects from unreasonable searches and seizures, a person’s home holds a favored position. Indeed,  Courts have accorded a high degree of judicial sanctity to dwellings based on rights of privacy. Thus, the law strictly prohibits these searches, absent an exception to the warrant requirement.

Footnotes

1 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. U.S. Const. amend. IV.

2 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 warrant shall issue except upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the papers and things to be seized. N.J. Const. art. 1, ¶ 7.

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