police officer talking to male driver

The Importance of Knowing Your Fourth Amendment Rights

The Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment protects American citizens from unreasonable search and seizure by the government, which includes police officers. It sets the legal standard that police officers must have probable cause and acquire a warrant before conducting a search.

Illegal Search and Seizure

It is important to be aware of your protections under the Fourth Amendment, so you know when police are and are not within their right to conduct a search of you, your vehicle, or your property.

If the police do not have a search warrant, a few instances allow them to conduct a legal search.
These include:

  • If the suspect consents to a search (verbally or in writing)
  • If the public is in immediate danger
  • If there is evidence that needs to be collected before it is destroyed
  • If there is evidence in plain view (i.e., evidence that can be seen through the car window as the officer approaches)

Criminal Charges After an Illegal Search

If you were arrested after what you believe was an illegal search, it’s crucial to begin preparing your defense. Take notes of everything about the interaction and arrest. These details can help you prove that there were no legal grounds for the search.

A defense attorney can help argue that the evidence against you was collected illegally, and file a motion to suppress it. Any evidence collected during an illegal search should not be admissible in court. Once the evidence is successfully suppressed, the case will likely be dismissed.

Austin, Texas Criminal Defense

Our lawyers are Smith & Vinson Law Firm are passionate about protecting the Constitutional rights of our clients. If your Fourth Amendment rights were violated and you are facing criminal charges, contact our team today at (512) 359-3743. We want to help prove that you were the victim of an illegal search and ensure you are not convicted as a result.