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Illegal Search & Seizure: Know Your Rights

The 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects all U.S. citizens from “unreasonable” search and seizure. This constitutional right protects people from most police searches unless law enforcement has a judge-issued warrant based on probable cause. A warrant is a legal document authorizing an arrest, a premises search, or another action relating to the administration of justice.

If a police officer doesn’t have a warrant before searching your property and seizing evidence, he or she might be doing so illegally. There are only a few cases where law enforcement can search and take property without needing a warrant. These cases can include the following:

  • You gave your permission
  • A police officer sees an illegal substance or activity in plain view outside your property
  • There is an emergency situation happening
  • An officer has reasonable suspicion you might be destroying evidence

Unless one of these circumstances apply, an officer cannot use evidence collected illegally against you in court. Likewise, because of the “fruit of the poisonous tree” rule, any evidence compiled based on the illegally obtained evidence cannot be used in court against you either.

If you’re facing a criminal charge, talk to one of our skilled Raleigh criminal defense attorneys as soon as possible. May Rammell & Thompson has more than 70 years of combined legal experience to offer your case. Let us see what we can do to defend your rights and freedom.

Contact us at (208) 623-8021 or fill out our online form to schedule a case consultation with us today!

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