The United States Constitution aims to limit the authority and power law enforcement and government agents have over American citizens while still enabling them to keep the peace. The Fourth Amendment protects every citizen’s right to basic privacy by preventing police from searching a person without probable cause.
This law has a major influence on how criminal cases turn out and whether or not a defendant is likely to be found guilty. Here’s everything you need to know about illegal search and seizure, as well as where you can seek legal assistance if you’ve been arrested.
Are There Laws Against an Unreasonable Search?
When the police perform a search without probable cause, this is known as an unjustified or unlawful search and seizure. For example, if someone is pulled over in a routine traffic stop and law enforcement decides to conduct a search, this is illegal unless the officer saw, smelled, or heard something that indicated a crime may have been committed. If a warrant cannot be issued, police cannot conduct a legal search without sufficient grounds to do so.
What Police Need for a Legal Search
Police officers can legally conduct a search and seize evidence if:
- They have enough probable cause to warrant a search
- There’s extenuating circumstances or an emergency
- They were granted a search warrant
- The suspect gave permission
Private security companies, retail establishments, and other non-government authorities are not restricted by the same constitutional laws as law enforcement officers when conducting a search. Also, police do not require probable cause or a warrant for evidence that was obtained in a public place or for which they didn’t have to search because the evidence was in the open.
Were You Charged With a Crime? Get In Touch With a Los Angeles Defense Attorney Now
It’s important that you don’t hesitate after being arrested for a crime to obtain legal counsel. You have many rights, most or all of which the police don’t necessarily want you to know you have. It benefits them greatly if you aren’t aware of their misconduct or don’t understand that they’ve violated the law. A seasoned California criminal defense attorney can help ensure your rights remain intact throughout the legal process. Contact the Lewin Law Group today for an appointment to discuss your case by calling toll free at (800) 458-1488. We are standing by now to take your call and schedule your consultation.