Law-enforcement officers are meant to enforce the law. This means there are several ways that they can also break the law; the law is not beneath them. There are certain things that constitute illegal searches by police, and it is important to understand what these things are. It is also important to understand when, should you encounter law-enforcement, the search has actually begun. Laws are in place to protect people, and in this case, unreasonable searches and seizures are also prohibited. There are certain instances where people have a right to their property and can deny a search by law-enforcement, should it be illegal in the eyes of the law. There are two factors to consider when trying to determine when a search has begun and if a search is legal:
- Is there an expectation of privacy to the person who is being searched?
- Is this expectation of privacy valid or reasonable?
In the event that the answer to either of these questions is yes, your fourth amendment rights have been violated and you should contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to see what your legal options are. It is important to speak with a criminal defense attorney because there are several instances where searches are very legal and do not violate your fourth amendment rights. So, if law enforcement searches without a warrant, this may be due to the fear of safety of others or themselves. However, in most cases a warrant is required and likely provided so that a search can be done with or without the notice and consent of the person being searched.
Violating Your Rights
No matter the amount of legal ways the police can search, there is almost always one small stipulation that somehow violates the rights of the person being searched. In the event that your rights have been violated, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. It is important to note that the police are allowed to perform a reasonable search and seizure. In order for a search to be reasonable, a crime likely must have occurred in the area. This search must discover stolen goods or some sort of law being broken to be considered legal. Police are also able to use first-hand information to conduct a search should they not have a warrant from the judge prior to the search.
To have the police into your home without your consent a warrant must be in hand as well. If there is some expectation of privacy this is almost always the exception. In the event that the search was not legal and there was some evidence found to prove a crime was committed, this evidence cannot be used against you.
Contact an Attorney
If you did not study law, it is not expected for you to know the law at all times. Should you or someone you know be involved in what may be an illegal search and seizure, please contact a criminal lawyer, like a criminal lawyer in Decatur, GA, as soon as possible. The right attorney will be able to review the details of your case and build the perfect defense for you or your loved one.
Thanks to The Lynch Law Group for their insight into illegal searches.