Your Fourth Amendment Rights: Search and Seizure

In the event that you are arrested for a criminal offense, it is likely you will experience fear and confusion because of the uncertainties that are associated with an arrest, even if you are innocent. Fortunately, you have certain rights when dealing with law enforcement officers that will protect you greatly in the long run, and can often times be used in your defense by a trusted Peoria criminal attorney. At the Johnson Law Group, we are determined to help protect not only the future of our clients, but also their rights during the process. One of the many ways we can protect your rights is by educating you on the Fourth Amendment, and what it means to protect your privacy from the law enforcement officers seeking to prove you guilty.

The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution explicitly states,

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Your privacy is something that is worth protecting, and under this law all authorities are called to honor these rights. However, this law states that you are protected from "unreasonable" searches and seizures, it does not protect you from a search done with probable cause. The rights that you have with the authorities are relative to the situation in which you are in. this includes the police officers believing that by searching your home, car, office, etc. That they will find evidence connecting you to a certain criminal offense. They must have reason to believe this, and can in no way make these searches legally based on just a hunch. The second reason they may conduct a search is if the current situation calls for the search, therefore justifying the fact they have not obtained a search warrant from the court.

When dealing with your legal rights to privacy, there are a few factors that must be considered in order to understand where the lines of your "rights" actually lie. For example, you are only protected if you expect that a particular area is meant to be private. A silly, yet very real, example this would be a bathroom. When you are in a stall using the facilities, you expect that there will be complete privacy from others, therefore making it illegal for someone to come in apart from probable cause. However, if you leave a weapon sitting on your car seat and it is in plain sight, an officer has the right to confiscate that item from your car and search for further evidence.

If an officer of the law has some reasonable cause to search your private space, then your Fourth Amendment rights are no longer applicable. However, the lines with your privacy are often grey, which is why having a skilled Peoria criminal lawyer on your side is so crucial for your defense! In the event that you have been arrested for a crime, or you have experienced the search of your property and invasion of privacy, call the Johnson Law Group today for the aggressive legal representation you deserve on your side! Our firm uses hard-hitting tactics to ensure that our clients are fought for to the fullest extent. We will do whatever we can to help you prove your innocence, protecting both your rights and your future.

Contact our office today for a free consultation!