Our 4th and 5th Amendment Rights

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.

There was also the Rodriguez v. United States case that dealt with the 4th amendment. Rodriguez felt that the police officer did not have a reason to search his car with police dogs. He was pulled over for a ticket and the cop searched his vehicle. After the police officer was done, he wrote him a ticket. After the traffic stop was complete the officer had the police dog sniff the car, and the dog found drugs. Since there was a 10 minute delay after the stop Rodriguez felt his rights were violated because after a traffic stop is completed you can leave and your car can no longer be searched from the initial stop.

There was a wrongful death lawsuit that deals with the 5th amendment. A teen driver, Fourmy, had hit a 47 year old pedestrian, Flores, who died on the scene of the accident. The lawsuit was filed by the victim's husband. The 17 year pled guilty to vehicular manslaughter in the case. Although, he pled the 5th he was found guilty. Just because you pled the 5th it does not mean that you are not guilty.

If you are ever pulled over by the police make sure you know your rights so that you are not unknowingly giving up your rights. The Bill of Rights was created to protect the citizens of the United States. The amendments are your rights so do not just surrender them; it can get you in a lot more trouble than you initially would have been in if you had not given them up. You as a citizen of the United States have rights; use them.

Brigette Armstrong

16 year old high schools student

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Volume 6, Issue 10, Posted 5:32 PM, 10.12.2015