United States v. Jones places the use of surveillance devices on the forefront of the argument of the Fourth Amendment. In this case we see a man arrested following a prolonged period of surveillance

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United States v. Jones places the use of surveillance devices on the forefront of the argument of the Fourth Amendment. In this case we see a man arrested following a prolonged period of surveillance by law enforcement who took action without following the appropriate procedures in obtaining a warrant to track Mr. Jones. By installing a tracking device to Mr. Jones’ vehicle without his knowledge and without support of the courts, thereby violating his personal property. While law enforcement maintained that they were tracking only public movements of Mr. Jones, the court supported that this was an invasion of his personal privacy rights (Oyez, n.d.).

On the other hand, Carroll v. United States brings up a phrase that I feel is very important when addressing Fourth Amendment rights, probable cause. The review of this case simply places forth a definition stating “probable cause, i.e., upon a belief, reasonably arising out of circumstances known to the officer” (Justia, 2020). With this, the case supports the search of vehicles based off the belief of the officer without the use of a warrant. Probable cause being defined as a belief rather than obtaining evidence leaves a great deal of discretion for the officers initiating the search.

Based on these cases, it can be difficult to ascertain the correct practices for conducting searches or placing GPS and the requirement of warrants. It seems more so that the situation dictates the actions taken and how these actions play out in court may depend on how the officers put forth their belief that a crime is in progress or has been committed

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