We all take our Constitutional rights for granted. Your rights are not always automatically protected. That’s why we have amendments to make things clearer. There have been some significant cases in the news involving abuse of power by law enforcement or other officials. It’s important to know how your rights are protected. Understanding how the 4th Amendment works can prepare you for a situation where the law may be overstepping their bounds with an illegal search and seizure.
Search and Seizure: What You Need to Know
The Basics of the 4th Amendment
The 4th Amendment was written to check and limit police power when officers make arrests and perform searches. The amendment prohibits any “unreasonable” search and seizure done to a person or property. A “reasonable” search is determined by a search warrant or probable cause. When arguing for probable cause, the officer must be able to explain the evidence that they had to make the search. This explanation should be clear to the court as to why the officer felt search and seizure was legal.
A good defense lawyer can help you wade through these explanations to see if the officer were within their rights to
- Make an arrest;
- Conduct a search; or
- Seize property.
If you think your arrest or search was illegal, call an attorney immediately for assistance with proving an illegal search or seizure in court.
Saying No to Law Enforcement
Our culture teaches that only bad people say no to law enforcement. However, you are well within your rights to say no in certain cases. The 4th Amendment allows you to deny a search by police. An officer cannot make you submit to a search if they do not have a legal search warrant. They cannot look into your pockets, car, purse, or home without a warrant.
If you tell an officer no and they still search you, call a defense attorney right away. Your lawyer will help you discover if you can build a case against the officer for unlawful search and seizure.
Get Help from Your Defense Attorney
If you’ve experienced unlawful search and seizure, call a defense attorney today. Go through every aspect of your case with an attorney to determine the next steps. A skilled defense attorney can help you protect your rights and prevent an abuse of power by the police.