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Know Your Rights: The Fourth Amendment

Know Your Rights: The Fourth Amendment

The only way you can protect your rights is by knowing them. The United States Constitution was created to serve and protect the rights of American citizens. This is why the Constitution is the most important legal document to understand if you want to guard your rights.

In this blog, we will be covering the Fourth Amendment. This Amendment protects citizens against unlawful searches and seizures. It is vital to understand when a search is legal, and when your rights are being violated.

The Text

“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.”

So, What Does This Mean?

The Fourth Amendment protects you against all searches and seizures by police that are deemed “unreasonable under the law.” This statement usually means that neither you nor your property can be searched without a warrant or probable cause. It is important to know the difference between what is a reasonable and unreasonable search or seizure.

What Is an Unreasonable Search or Seizure?

In order to be protected by the Fourth Amendment, the person must have a “legitimate expectation of privacy.” Any place, which is considered private by law, is protected by the Amendment. The U.S. Supreme Court has created a two part criteria for determining if a place is private:

  • The person must have some expectation of privacy. They must believe that the location or situation is private.
  • The person’s expectation of privacy must be reasonable and generally accepted by society.

If these two standards are met, then police must have either have a warrant or probable cause in order to conduct a search. Otherwise this is considered an unreasonable search or seizure.

What Happens If My Fourth Amendment Rights Are Violated?

All individuals are protected under the Fourth Amendment. When these rights are violated, it has many implications on a criminal case. Any evidence discovered by an illegal search and seizure may not be used in a criminal case, even a confession.

If you have been the victim of an illegal search or seizure, hire the legal team experienced in criminal defense. At the Khonsari Law Group, we will stand up for your rights and will fight vigorously for your case. Do not risk your freedom, contact KLG attorneys today.

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