Search and Seizure: Know Your Legal Rights

Posted By The Law Offices of Jerry Schaffer, Jr. || 21-Jul-2015

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!

Categories: Criminal Defense