Great Criminal Defense Lawyers Use The Fourth Amendment
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." - Fourth Amendment
The Fourth Amendment protects us against searches and seizures conducted by the government or at the governmental direction. Surveillance and investigatory actions taken by strictly private persons, such as private investigators or suspicious business owners, are not governed by the Fourth Amendment.
In order for the Fourth Amendment to apply to the person arrested must first establish that they had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the place to be searched or the thing to be seized.
The Supreme Court has ruled that individuals have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their bodies, clothing, pockets, personal belongings, purses, wallets, hotel rooms, cars, homes, and in the curtilage immediately surrounding the outside of their homes.
The Fourth Amendment is designed to stop police misconduct. The Fourth Amendment enables courts to exclude evidence upon proof that the evidence was obtained by an illegal search.
In cases where an officer violates a person's Fourth Amendment rights, and the search and/or seizure is found unlawful, the evidence will be kept out of the criminal case. This means that if a person's home was searched, but there was no search warrant or other circumstances that would have justified the search and seizure, any evidence gathered during that time will not be allowed in court.
Furthermore, a court may exclude not only evidence that itself was seized in violation of the Fourth Amendment but also any other evidence that is the consequence of an illegal search.
So What Does All That Mean?
The government is limited in its authority to arrest, search and take property from us.
- If an officer does not have a warrant, you do not have to consent to a search of your home.
- You cannot get in trouble for refusing to be searched without a warrant.
- A co-habitant/roommate of a residence may provide police with permission to search the premises, even if the other co-habitant is not there or does not provide his or her consent.
- Police officers must have reasonable suspicion in order to detain you.
- After a frisk, an officer may ask you to reveal other evidence discovered in the frisk, but you do not have to consent to revealing soft objects. Remember, the officer must have a warrant to search for anything beyond weapons in a frisk.
- Individuals may not be detained by police for more than 48 hours without probable cause.
- Evidence gained through an illegal search and seizure is not admissible in court.
At The Law Offices of Parviz A. Heshmati, we have handled thousands of misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor and felony cases. We take a proactive approach to each case to avoid potential penalties and fees and get the best possible results. Our extensive defense experience includes pursuing every available defense. As dedicated lawyers, we possess in-depth experience with the Fourth Amendment. We evaluate every case for constitutional violations. If we discover that law enforcement officers violated your rights in their pursuit of evidence, we fight hard to have evidence suppressed and charges dismissed.
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The more time that goes by in a criminal case without protection from a qualified attorney, the harder it may be to secure the best possible results. Don't wait. Contact us today at 702-432-1000. We offer free consultations. Hablamos español.