Were you arrested and charged because evidence of a crime was found on you, in your home, or in your car? If so, the legality of the search is always an issue. If you can demonstrate that the search was illegal, the evidence will be thrown out. Evidence obtained from an illegal search is referred to as “fruit of the poisonous tree.” The importance of challenging an illegal search cannot be overstated, especially in a possession cases, whether it be a controlled substance or marijuana. Without the evidence, your charges will be reduced or altogether dismissed.
The Fourth Amendment – Protection from an Illegal Search
The protections against unreasonable searches and seizures arise from the Bill of Rights. Specifically, these protections are set forth in the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Fourth Amendment provides, in part,
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures
Your rights demand that police have a warrant or at least probable cause to conduct a search. However, if you allow police to search, they do not need a warrant or probable cause. Do not consent to a search!
So what is a Reasonable Search?
This is where the fight is. Fourth Amendment law is complex and constantly developing. The Supreme Court of the U.S. is tasked with interpreting “reasonableness.” When deciding whether an illegal search has taken place, the Supreme Court asks this question—do you have a reasonable expectation of privacy?
Without doubt, the strongest rights that you have are in your home. You always have a reasonable expectation of privacy in your home. To search your home, police generally need a warrant. You also have rights in your vehicle, but they have been stripped away over the years. Generally, police can find ways search your vehicle without a warrant if they have probable cause.
Illegal Searches and DWI Blood Draws
Over the years, searches have been expanded into areas that the framers of the Constitution could not have imagined, such as our bodies. For instance, when police officers draw our blood against our will, they are searching our bodies for evidence of a crime. However, the Supreme Court has recently decided that a warrantless blood draw is usually an unconstitutional illegal search.
The Fourth Amendment is crucially important to our liberty. Being free from the government arbitrarily entering our homes, cars, and persons is one of our most important rights, if not the most important.Have you been arrested and charged with a crime? Contact my law office to discuss your case and develop a gameplan. We are downtown at 108 Main Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102. Andrew Deegan (817) 689-7002