Understand Your Fourth Amendment Rights

The constitution protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures by law enforcement. Therefore, the police cannot bust into your house to look for drugs based on mere suspicion. However,  the police sometimes conduct illegal searches and seizures and even seize evidence.

As a result, you may find yourself facing charges backed by such evidence, and you need to protect your legal rights. Here is what you need to know.

The constitution only protects you from unreasonable searches

The Fourth Amendment is not a blanket cover against all searches by the police. If the police can justify a warrantless search because of prevailing circumstances at the time, it could be legal. For instance, should you provide your consent or if the police have reasonable suspicion that a crime has been or is being committed, they can conduct a lawful search. Equally, evidence in plain sight can also form the basis of a search of yourself or your property.

There are other instances where a search can seem illegal but it is not. Therefore, you need to consider the specific aspects of your case to establish whether your search was a violation of your constitutional rights.

Will an unlawful search affect your case?

An unlawful search may affect the direction your case will take. Since it violated your constitutional rights, evidence obtained from an illegal search and seizure may not be admissible in court. The court could strike out such evidence from your case, and if the prosecution has no other way of proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the charges are not likely to hold.

It may sound pretty straightforward, but it is not. Legal technicalities often arise in such cases, and things can get complex. However, with the necessary knowledge, you can successfully prove that the police violated your Fourth Amendment rights — it will work in your favor as you go against the charges you are facing.