Fourth and Fifth Amendment Articles

Fourth and Fifth Amendment Articles

Mr. Joshua Stephens’ students in his College Credit Plus Course in Political Science have submitted articles that they have written regarding these two amendments. We here at the Euclid Observer are thrilled to have received submissions from these new writers, and look forward to seeing more of their work. Unfortunately, we couldn’t choose which ones to print, so we are printing a snippet of each article with the full article available online at

For our readers who need a Political Science refresher the following are the amendments.

Amendment IV

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.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Teens with the Fourth and Fifth Amendment

By: Isiah Claytor

Teens in America are often unaware of their amendments and their rights. Many teens also are not fully clear on their rights. Most teens also do not know that their rights are restricted in many places. In school, teen’s rights are restricted to a certain extent.  If you are on school grounds, you or your car, can be searched if school officials suspect any criminal activity. School officials still need to have a good reason to search you; they cannot just go around searching people because somebody looks suspicious. It is your right as an American citizen to remain silent when questioned, and to not be searched without consent or warrant.

Teenagers should have less restrictions on their rights on school grounds. It is in the constitution for a reason. It is the rights of the people that everybody should have in life. In any other place in America, your rights are the same anywhere else. School officials should need a search warrant to search students. Teens should need a search warrant to be searched on school grounds, unless it is endangering to rest of the student body. If there are guns involved, the school officials can still search you if they have a reasonable excuse to search you for any deadly weapons. To receive a warrant, you must be caught red handed, or have a fair amount of complaints that you have illegal substances. In the case of New Jersey v. T.L.O (1985) when two teenagers were caught smoking weed by school officials. Since she was caught red handed, they had a very good reason to search the student.   

Our 4th and 5th Amendment Rights

By: Brigette Armstrong

As stated in the Bill of rights we are entitled to certain unalienable rights. The two I will be discussing in this piece are the fourth and fifth amendments within court cases that involved teenagers. The fourth amendment is the right to not have search and seizure done without a warrant unless there is a reasonable cause for the search and seizure. This right is limited in public buildings at times such as schools.  The Fifth Amendment protects you from self-incriminating yourself.

There was the Scott v. Harris case where the 19 year old driver was speeding, the officer clocked his speed in at 73 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone, and when the police officer, Scott, tried to pull Harris over he sped up to an even more accelerated rate. Harris had started the chase, but Scott ended it by ramming into the back of Harris’ vehicle. This left the driver paralyzed and they went to court because Harris felt that the police officer violated his 4th amendment right not to be seized without reason. The court decided that his rights were not being violated because the police officer had a reasonable cause, which was Harris’ speeding due to the fact he was creating a dangerous environment for pedestrians.

Teens Have Rights That They Don't Even Know

By: Jessica Lisy

As teenagers where do we belong in this world? Do we classify ourselves as kids, adults, or that somewhere in between? Because of this confusion, rights of a teenager gets lost in the midst of all the confusion.  The re Gualt 387 (1967) case defined rights of both adults and teenagers. Two minors were arrested for making a prank call. The arrest was very amature and unprofessional. So, his parents decided to take this case to the Supreme Court. Finally, the Supreme Court ruled that the boys under question, did not have the right to be charged as an adult. It was a landmark case that gave teens an understanding of these rights. Rights that to this day, are not well known or used.

Everyone in their youthful age is protected by the 4th amendment. This amendment protects us from unreasonable searches and seizures. This means that a police officer cannot just randomly pull you off the street and start going through your stuff. There has to be a perfectly good reason for the search. If you are running around showing off your weed. A police officer has the right to search you.

Know Your Fourth and Fifth Amendments

By: Abbie Dickerson

Many people living in the United States, are unaware of their Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights. The Fourth Amendment protects you against unreasonable search and seizures. This protection is extended to things such as your person, house, car, papers etc. Under this amendment, there must be a warrant issued, you must verbally consent, or there must be probable cause for a search to be carried out. Some situations included in probable cause are, if illegal contraband is in plain sight, or if a situation puts the police officer in immediate danger. Police are also legally able to carry out a search if the person is being arrested. Under the Fifth Amendment your right to not incriminate yourself, and your right to not be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law are protected. To make sure that you do not accidentally waive these rights you should take certain precautions. You SHOULD NOT answer any questions asked without having an attorney present, and you SHOULD exercise your right to remain silent. These rights can be very finicky and hard to deal with, so you must always stay calm, and be careful.

Teens and Fourth and Fifth Amendment Rights

By: Tianna Vanrossum

As an American we have many rights. We also have many laws we need to abide by and police officers are given certain powers and rules to enforce those laws. In this day and age, police officers have gotten caught going above and beyond the power they are designated. Officers often abuse and even go on to kill some of today’s youth just because said officers know they have a portion of authority in our government. These situations often start off with an officer violating our human rights, particularly the rights granted by the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. I believe officers that do this sort of abusing have totally missed the fact that teenagers have the same rights as adults, when it comes to dealing with the law and its enforcers, despite the age of that person.

The Importance of Teaching the Constitutional Rights

By: Nia Gatewood

I sometimes wonder if we are ever forgetting about the things with the most serious of consequences. As I grow older, as my responsibilities expand, this becomes more and more apparent to me. A situation as little as a traffic stop could be incredibly damaging to my life if I do not know how to handle it in the correct manner. However, would the average person know what to do if stopped by the police? Moreover, would the average teenager know what to do?

Not many of us are very familiar with all of our constitutional rights. Generally, everyone knows about their first constitutional rights, those including the right to speech, press, religion and so on. Those are drilled into us at a young age. Nevertheless that is not enough to get by in the world we live in today. In my research I have come to understand that it is no one's responsibility to tell me my rights even in events where they are the most essential in helping me. This is unfortunate because that is what the rights were initially created for. I'm sure we all realize that a lot of people are mostly looking out for themselves, which is not completely selfish, but sadly can often cause misfortune for you. If you are not aware of the rights you have, authority figures are able to take advantage of your ignorance. Of them all, teenagers will be the biggest victims to this. As a result of our inexperience with the world and certain procedures we could come to encounter, teenagers may find themselves in more trouble than most.

Teen Rights

By: Zack Golden

Teens tend to have a misunderstanding of their rights when stopped by the police. First of all the Fourth Amendment requires that the police have a reasonable suspicion that a crime has been, is being, or is about to be committed before stopping a suspect. When stopped by the police, adults and teens alike have the right to remain silent. This right is the most important because it prevents you from saying anything that may incriminate yourself. The 4th amendment protects people from being searched or having their property taken away from them without any good reason. A police officer must have a warrant to search and seize your property. This ties into the right to remain silent because if you don’t give your consent a police officer must get a warrant. 

How the Fourth Amendment Helps Teens Who Are Stopped by the Police

By: Jane D’Arcy

What are your rights when you are stopped by the police?  Many teens are unsure.  It is important that everyone knows their rights when stopped by the police, particularly the rights granted by the Fourth Amendment.

The Fourth Amendment prohibits unwarranted searches and seizures.  This is important because it stops anyone from going through your belongings without reason.  If an officer asks to search you or your property, you can decline their request.  Having said that, if the officer has a warrant, you must allow him to search anything listed on it.  In order to obtain a search warrant, the officer must have probable cause.  However, if you are in school, this right is restricted.  In school, police officers are allowed to search you without obtaining a warrant.  In this case, they are allowed to search any private property in the schools if they have reasonable suspicion.

Rights of Teenagers

By: Ronchelle Marshall

The United States was founded on right. The main reason that America became America is that English subjects didn’t want to be ruled by a king that didn’t respect their rights. If you are a teenager being stopped by the police it is scary most of the time especially if it is at night. If a police officer stop you and ask you for your driver’s license and your registration, you should give it to them and then ask if you did something wrong and wait for an answer. If the officer ask you to get out of the car, you get out and you close the car behind you. In my opinion if you are a teenager and a police officer pull you over and ask if they can search your car you said no and ask if they have a warrant. Teenager rights can be interrupted in different ways.

Your rights are limited in schools for example your rights to privacy is limited because you are on school property and your locker is the property of the school so the school can search it without your permission because it belongs to the school. The next thing you have to think about is what you say to the police because it is important. The police can use what you say to arrest you especially if you badmouth an officer they can search your car on the evidences that from your speech it sounds like you have been using illegal substances or that you are intoxicated. If it is so you just gave the police the right to arrest you because you were unage drinking or using illegal substances. If a police officer is following you  with their siren on and  you happen to be a  teenager you need to listen to me to know exactly what to do .

The Fight for Our Rights

By: Celina Vuyancih

Being pulled over is a nerve-wracking thing. First you worry what you have done wrong. Then you fear that the officer may find something in your possession that could get you into unwanted trouble. Whether people know it or not, you have rights that will protect you from unlawful search or indictment if pulled over by the police. These rights fall under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. They protect you from self-incrimination and from unreasonable searches and seizures. After researching several cases, I have collected three that pertain to these very rights and the ways you are permitted to use them to protect your well-being.  

First, there is Bruce Edward Brendlin v. People of the State of California(2007). Brendlin and Simeroth were pulled over. The officer searched the vehicle after noticing Brendlin was inside. Simeroth and Brendlin were arrested after authorities discovered equipment used for production of methamphetamine. Brendlin was charged with possession of the illegal substance. He requested the evidence to be suppressed. The officer violated his Fourth Amendment right by unlawfully searching his car. The motion was denied. After hearing of the case, California’s Supreme Court investigated and determined there was no reason to overturn it.

Teens and the 4th and 5th Amendments

By: Morgan Manning

Most teens do not seem too enthused about law, government, the constitution and the like unless they want to pursue a career in the field of law. If you were to hold a survey where you asked people about their rights and freedoms, many people would not know them word for word and under which amendment they’d fall and teens would probably do the same. They could tell you what rights and freedoms they possess, but not under which amendment. Some adolescents may question whether they really need to know their rights and freedoms specifically or just the general concept. If you asked the youth, they may not be able to tell you what rights the 4th and 5th Amendments grant you which worries me because of how important these amendments are, especially pertaining to teens.

The 4th Amendment prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and require any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause. This means that the police can pat you down, however they cannot frisk you unless they feel something suspicious. If you are stopped by the police for speeding, you do not have to consent to any searches, in fact it is advisable to deny consent unless you know for sure the vehicle you are in has no illegal substances.

Teens Rights According to the Fourth and Fifth Amendments

By: Jasmine Rollins

The Fourth Amendment states that the government (police) cannot search you or your property/belongings without your consent or without a warrant/reasonable cause for the search. The ultimate goal of this provision is to protect people’s rights to privacy and freedom from arbitrary governmental intrusions.

A popular Supreme Court case involving these rights is Safford Unified School District v Redding (2009). A student reported another girl, Marissa, had given him prescription pills. Marissa was searched and was found with more pills and weapons. She said everything was Redding's, and she was then searched, even inside her undergarments! Redding sued the school for violating her Fourth Amendment. The strip search was ruled illegal.

What rights do you have when you are pulled over by the police?

By: Maggie Golden

What do you do when you get pulled over by a police officer? Teens may not understand what rights everyone has in this situation. When you first get pulled over, the officer will explain why they have pulled you over. One of your main rights is the right to remain silent. If the officer asks you “Do you know how fast you were going,” you don’t have to respond. Your silence won’t be used against you in court. Always do as the officer tells you, do not argue with him/her that will only make the situation worse. The officer may not tell you before, that you can refuse a search under your fourth amendment right.  Knowing your rights is very important especially when it involves the law.

The Supreme Court has dealt with cases involving the fourth and Fifth Amendment rights. One case is Salinas V. Texas (2013). Genovevo Salinas was accused of murdering two men. The police went to his parents’ house and took Salinas in for questioning. But before they took Salinas for questioning, his father gave the police Salinas’s shotgun. The police didn’t read off the Miranda warning, which wasn’t required since he wasn’t in custody. Salinas didn’t say anything when the police asked him, “if the shotgun would match the shells recovered at the scene of the murder.” The government used Salinas silence against him and found him guilty. This violated the fourth amendment right that says your silence will not be used against you in court.

Were you given an opportunity to learn the best way to deal with an officer?

By: Kelsie Moses

Unlike in schools, teens have the equal amount of rights as an adult in the situation of a traffic stop. I do not see any room for improvement in the rights that us as citizens have when being pulled over. We have almost complete control of how a traffic stop will go unless it is at the fault of an officer for going wrong. As long as the person being pulled over has an idea of their rights, there is little possibility it will go poorly or turn into something more serious like arrest or a more expensive ticket. Some of this knowledge that the average citizen deserves to know is not normally taught in schools or part of a common curriculum. Teenagers new to driving and even adults who were not completely exposed to all of their rights deserve to get a proper education of how to deal with a traffic stop properly. Even the most common right, the right to remain silent, is extremely under used. Although we have rights that we can apply to traffic stops in effort to protect ourselves, Police officers often overstep their boundaries. In a recent case Sandra Bland v. Dylan Roof (2015) is an example of both fault of the citizen, and of authority. Although Bland exercised her rights, the officer abused his own which then led to anger and aggression by both of them, leaving them both at fault for why this case was so extended.

Right to Privacy Opinion Statement

By: Dustin Geiger

I think that the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution are necessary and important to our form of government, especially in the case of teens, however there are some inevitable problems with the system, humans being humans.  As far as the Fourth Amendment goes, on the civilian side, it is all about saying the right things to get yourself out of trouble or to make yourself look innocent, rather than just being guilty if you are guilty and innocent if you are innocent.  On the side of the police force, they can either suspect a person of being guilty but then go too far in their search and violate that person’s Fourth Amendment rights, or, on the other end of the spectrum, they may do too little and let criminals get away because of their rights.  It’s a very fine line between the freedom people have a right to and the security people need in order to live safely.  In the case of a police officer finding that someone is guilty but doing it the wrong way (i.e. by way of an unreasonable search and seizure), in the eyes of a lot of people the guilty person is somehow less guilty.  My opinion is that the hypothetical cop is clearly at fault for their mistake of law or for being contrary to the law they are supposed to be enforcing, but the criminal is guilty too, for committing a crime. 


Read More on Euclid Schools
Volume 6, Issue 10, Posted 5:48 PM, 10.12.2015