There is quite a bit of gray area when it comes to the subject of illegal search and seizure.
In short, law enforcement must follow a number of rules associated with search and seizure. These rules are included in the Fourth Amendment, so it’s clear as to what law enforcement is and is not allowed to do.
Here are some of the most common questions associated with illegal search and seizure:
— When does a police investigation turn into a search? Generally speaking the court will look at two details: Is the person expected to receive a degree of privacy? Is the expectation of privacy reasonable?
— Is private property as private as it sounds? Property that is within your home or vehicle is typically private. If police want to enter your home or car to collect evidence to use in court, they will generally need to obtain a search warrant. However, there are times when this is not necessary, such as if there is reason to believe that the suspect will destroy evidence.
— What power does a search warrant give police? In short, this gives law enforcement the ability to entire a premise without seeking permission from the owner. Upon doing so, they can search for evidence outlined in the warrant.
— Do police always need a search warrant? The short answer is no. This is not required in the following situations: if consent is given, in an emergency, and/or if items are in plain view.
— Can police search a vehicle during a traffic stop? The answer is yes if they have a reason to do so. For example, police may frisk a suspect if they believe they are holding a gun or some type of illegal contraband.
By now, you should realize that there are many questions regarding illegal search and seizure. Even with the above information guiding you, you may still not fully understand your situation and legal rights.
If you have reason to believe that you were subject to illegal search and seizure, it’s important to consult with an attorney. You have rights and you should do whatever it takes to protect them. Neglecting to do so could work against you in the long run, such as by leading to a more serious punishment.