What Is Considered Unlawful Search & Seizure?
The 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects all U.S. citizens from unlawful searches and seizures of private property. The document considers any “unreasonable” search and seizure without a warrant to be illegal. Law enforcement most often needs the help of a judge-issued warrant before they can search someone else’s property without that person’s consent.
However, in some circumstances, police can search and seize property without a warrant. In most emergencies, or if the police think you might be destroying evidence, they can enter a person’s home or car without permission and without a warrant. Likewise, if they can see contraband or an illegal activity happening outside the property, they have probable cause to seize the contraband or stop the event. Any suspect who has been arrested could also have his or her property searched legally.
If a police officer illegally searches a private property, this means he or she lacked a warrant, probable cause, or any emergency before searching someone’s home or vehicle. While a police officer might have a hunch you may have committed a crime, without a warrant, an invitation, or emergency circumstances he or she cannot legally search and seize property.
Any evidence collected illegally cannot be used in court to convict a suspect. Likewise, any evidence gathered because of the illegally obtained evidence cannot be admitted to court. A skilled attorney could examine a criminal case to see if the police acted within their rights when searching a person’s property. If you’ve been accused of a crime, let our Fort Worth criminal defense lawyers help. The Clark Law Firm has 35 years of combined legal experience to offer your case. Let us examine your situation and see if law enforcement violated your rights in pursuing their case against you.
Contact us at (817) 435-4970 or fill out our online form to schedule a complimentary case consultation today.