What are your Fourth Amendment rights?

On Behalf of | Jan 28, 2021 | Criminal Law |

If you are ever in a position where the police want to search your home and they do not have a warrant, it’s vital that you know your Fourth Amendment rights.

With your Fourth Amendment rights, you can turn away officers who are at your door if they do not approach with a warrant (in most cases). Specifically, the Fourth Amendment protects you against unreasonable searches and seizures, which includes searches of your home without a warrant when there is no probable cause or reason that the search would be incident to a lawful arrest.

Did you know you can waive your Fourth Amendment rights?

It is possible to waive your Fourth Amendment rights. Once you do so, the police or other authorities may enter your home and search it. Normally, it is inappropriate to waive those rights. The authorities should be going through the appropriate channels to get a warrant if a search of your property is necessary.

However, if you state that they may search your home or property, then they are legally able to do so.

Does the Fourth Amendment apply to your car?

The Fourth Amendment does apply, but there are many exceptions. For example, if there is probable cause that your vehicle contains evidence of an illegal act, then the officer may search it legally. An officer who has reasonable suspicion during a traffic stop may search your vehicle as well. Pat downs are legal during lawful traffic stops.

Officers are also legally able to use narcotics detection dogs to search around a vehicle during a traffic stop without permission, since the dog will not enter the vehicle.

What do you do if your Fourth Amendment rights were violated?

If you believe that your rights are being violated, then you should announce that you do not give permission for the search. Then, if the police continue, it would be in your best interests to look into seeking legal support. There have been cases where the authorities have overstepped their boundaries, and they can be held accountable if they do so in your case.

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