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What are your Fourth Amendment rights?

On Behalf of | Mar 26, 2024 | Criminal Defense

If the police knock on the door of your home or approach your vehicle requesting a search, then it is important to understand your legal rights. Any evidence collected could be used to incriminate you in court. The Fourth Amendment protects your right from unreasonable search and seizure. 

You are guaranteed privacy rights under the Fourth Amendment, which prevents the police from searching a property unless they meet certain conditions. Here are a few ways the police can conduct a legal search and seizure: 

When can the police search your vehicle or home? 

For many investigations, the police need a warrant before they search a vehicle or home. A search warrant is a court order that describes probable cause and gives the police the right to enter a premises and conduct a search. 

The police do not, however, always need to get a warrant before making a search. For instance, the police could ask permission from a resident or driver if they can enter the premises. If this happens to you, then you should know that you do not have to give this permission. Even if you know the police will not find anything, it could still lead to serious charges. 

A search may also be conducted if the police spot illegal substances or weapons in plain view. This could give the police probable cause to make a search. Furthermore, the police could conduct a search after a lawful arrest. 

What if the police conduct an unreasonable search? 

An unreasonable search is a violation of your constitutional rights. Any evidence collected during an unreasonable search and seizure can be dismissed in court because the evidence was considered “fruit of the poisonous tree.”

Proving your rights were violated and the police made an unreasonable search can be difficult, but not impossible. You can learn your defense options by reaching out for legal help.