Fourteenth Amendment Search and Seizure

The Fourth Amendment, applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment, Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 81 S. Ct. 1684, 6 L. Ed. 2d 1081 (1961), states that "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated." U.S. CONST. amend. XIV. The amendment protects a person's reasonable "expectation of privacy." Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 9, 88 S. Ct. 1868, 20 L. Ed. 2d 889 (1968) (citing Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 351, 88 S. Ct. 507, 19 L. Ed. 2d 576 (1967)). A search that is reasonable in its inception may turn violative of the Fourth Amendment through its intensity and scope. Terry, 392 U.S. at 18. As Justice Fortas wrote, the scope of a search "must be tied to and justified by" the circumstances that rendered its initiation permissible. Warden v. Hayden, 387 U.S. 294, 310, 87 S. Ct. 1642, 18 L. Ed. 2d 782 (1967)(Fortas, J., concurring). In Terry, the Supreme Court held that, even without probable cause, a police officer can stop and briefly detain a person for investigative purposes if the officer has reasonable suspicion, supported by articulable facts, that criminal activity "may be afoot." United States v. Sokolow, 490 U.S. 1, 7, 109 S. Ct. 1581, 104 L. Ed. 2d 1 (1989) (citing Terry, 392 U.S. at 30). An officer making a Terry stop must furnish more than an "inchoate and unparticulatized suspicion or hunch." Sokolow, 490 U.S. at 7 (citing Terry, 392 U.S. at 27). Indeed, "while 'reasonable suspicion' is a less demanding standard than probable cause and requires a showing considerably less than preponderance of the evidence, the Fourth Amendment requires at least a minimal level of objective justification for making the stop." Illinois v. Wardlow, 528 U.S. 119, 120 S. Ct. 673, 145 L. Ed. 2d 570 (2000). In evaluating the existence of reasonable suspicion, courts consider "the totality of the circumstances -- the whole picture." Sokolow, 490 U.S. at 8 (citing United States v. Cortez, 449 U.S. 411, 417, 101 S. Ct. 690, 66 L. Ed. 2d 621 (1981)).