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Lesson 12: Fourth Amendment: Consent, Search Incident to Lawful Arrest, Plain View, Automobile

Fourth Amendment

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.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand and explain why the Supreme Court has created exceptions to the warrant requirement in the Fourth Amendment.
  • Understand and explain under what conditions consent may be given.
  • Understand and explain the parameters for where a search may be conducted without a warrant incident to a lawful arrest.
  • Understand and explain the warrant requirement for conducting a search with an infrared device.
  • Understand and explain the automobile exception.


  1. Read the National Constitution Center on the Fourth Amendment.


Search Incident to Lawful Arrest

Plain View and Open Fields



Lesson 14: Fourth Amendment – Wiretapping – What is Permissible?

Lesson 20: Social Media and The Constitution: What are the Limitations?

Are the President’s Tweets Government Action?

Cell Phone Searches

Can a Convicted Sex Offender Access the Internet?