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Safe as Houses: The Fourth Amendment and Your Home

In the last post we talked about the seminal case on the Fourth Amendment, Katz v. United States. Famously, the opinion in that case says that " . . . the Fourth Amendment protects people, not places."

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Don't They Need A Warrant For That? Fourth Amendment Basics

Criminal defense attorneys are practically always pressing Fourth Amendment arguments for two reasons: 1) the stakes are high. The benefit of winning a motion to suppress on the basis of a Fourth Amendment violation is that the evidence can not be used at trial (which frequently, but not always, ends the prosecution). 2) There are so many exceptions (and exceptions to the exceptions) and criss-crossing court decisions that there is almost always an argument good enough to be make. If the rules were clearer, there would be less to fight over.

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