As a criminal defense attorney, it’s clear many people do not know what their rights are.The Fourth Amendment helps protect the privacy of every American citizen, regardless of age, gender, or race. Under it, police must have reasonable suspicion to search homes, make arrests, and take other actions. In many cases, they also require a warrant, handed out by a judge, before acting.  Police can’t search anywhere that you have a “legitimate expectation of privacy.” This applies to your home, apartment, clothing, hotel room, vehicles, backpacks, etc.  There must be a reason to be searched.

There are times when someone might be searched without a warrant. If police come to your door and you invite them in, they will see things that are in plain view. This means they could seize drugs on a kitchen table, but they couldn’t go into your bedroom and find them in a dresser drawer without a warrant.

The best criminal defense attorney will be able to make sure that any evidence found during an illegal search will not be permitted in court and charges may be dropped. Occasionally, law enforcement may have probable cause to search you. If you were to be driving erratically and swerving in your lane, there would be the belief that you were under the influence while driving. You can be pulled over and asked questions. (Remain silent!) If you speak, it may be very clear that you were using alcohol or illegal drugs which would prompt a legal search. However, you can not be pulled over randomly. This is why everyone needs the best criminal defense attorney to go over all the evidence from the arrest to decipher whether it was done legally.

The Bottom Line:  The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right of individuals to be “secure in their person, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures.” The main purpose of this particular constitutional safeguard is to protect the privacy and security of the public against arbitrary and unreasonable invasions by the government, such as police. Most importantly, if police conduct an unreasonable search of an individual’s home or person – and thus violate the Fourth Amendment – any evidence obtained as a result of this search may be excluded at trial, including evidence of drug-related crimes. And, without evidence, a criminal conviction is significantly less likely. However, you will need a very skilled criminal defense attorney to grab all evidence that the search was in fact unreasonable.  Call me. 513.260.2099