The Fourth Amendment gives all U.S. citizens legal protection of your privacy
from unnecessary search and seizures. Police officers and other government
employees must have a reasonable explanation as to why they have decided
to stop or arrest you. This prohibits these officials from acting on a
“hunch” or bias. Otherwise, a warrant will need to be obtained
before a search can take place.
Officers can and do still have the right to arrest someone if there is
a legitimate concern and that the situation requires a search of the person’s
property to take place without needing a warrant. For example, they suspect that a
crime is about to or will be committed. Law enforcement may be able to conduct
searches not only on your personal belongings, but also your financial
records, bank accounts, personal documents, and even your trash bin.
What Are Other Limitations of the Fourth Amendment?
What you must understand about the Fourth Amendment is that it only offers
protection in cases where you should expect privacy, or also known as
“legitimate expectation of privacy.” The rule of thumb is
that the general public must believe that that individual had an expectation
that he or she was in a private area and that any intrusion onto that
would be inappropriate.
On the other hand, let’s say that a driver happened to run a red
light. That, of course, is a traffic violation, and an officer has reason
to pull over that driver and issue a citation. If the driver has illegal
drugs in plain sight---the dashboard or the passenger seat, as an example—then
privacy is no longer an issue. Reasonably, society would believe that
there is an offense there because it is so readily apparent to anyone
who might glance into the vehicle.
Were Your Rights Violated? Call a Santa Ana Criminal Attorney!
I, Attorney Jerry Schaffer, Jr. know the ins and outs of the law as a board-certified
criminal defense lawyer. When your rights are violated, you should be
aware that much of the evidence taken by an unlawful search and seizure
may not be allowed in court. That is why you need me to help. I have years
of jury trial experience and know my way around the courtroom.
I am prepared to fight your charges.
Call my firm today to set up a
free case evaluation!