The constitution grants you certain rights and the more you know about these rights, the more you know how to use them to your benefit. The Fourth Amendment protects people against unreasonable searches and seizures by law enforcement. This is very important if you are under investigation for alleged criminal activity. Knowing your rights puts you in a better position to protect them.
The Fourth Amendment protects your privacy, including the right to freedom from government intrusion into homes, private properties, and businesses. These limits mean that the police cannot question you without reason or entering your home without a warrant. If the Fourth Amendment rights are violated, you have the ground for legal action.
No matter how well you know your rights, make sure to hire a New Mexico criminal defense attorney in case you or your property was searched without a warrant.
Particular Protections the Fourth Amendment Provides
The police must have a valid warrant or probable cause to search your home, private property, or business. Probable cause means that there is a reason for the police to believe that a crime happened or is being committed in the place where you live, own, or work. There must be clear and specific evidence for the police to search the place. These protections refer to the following:
- Law enforcement’s physical comprehension of an individual for questioning
- Searches in areas where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy (a home, car, or other personal property).
There are many scenarios during which the Fourth Amendment applies to your situation. Let’ say the police can’t stop you while you are walking down the street to question you. If an officer pulled you over for speeding, they cannot search your vehicle without probable cause for that action.
These protections apply to your home and any place of business you run; this means the police can’t enter your place of work and search it without your permission or a search warrant.
Searching a Home
The searches and seizures inside a home are preemptively unreasonable if they are done without a warrant. There are some exceptions to this: if an officer is given consent to search, if the search is incident to a lawful arrest, and if there is probable cause to do the search and exigent circumstances, and if the items are visible.
Searching a Person
If an officer observes unusual behavior that would lead them reasonably to assume that the person is doing criminal activity, the officer may stop the suspicious person and do inquires that should lead to confirming or dismissing the suspicions.
School officials aren’t obliged to get a warrant before searching a student who is under their authority. The search of a student need only be reasonable under all the circumstances.
If there is probable cause for the officer to believe that the vehicle has evidence of criminal activity, the law enforcement officer may search the vehicle (any part of it) where they believe the evidence could be found. The officer may also conduct a traffic stop if they have a reasonable suspicion that a traffic violation was done or that criminal activity is forthcoming.
What If the Police Violate Your Fourth Amendment Rights?
In case the police violate your Fourth Amendment rights or other civil rights, several options are available. For instance, you have the right to speak up and put it clear that the police are violating your rights. The police searching your home or other private property without a warrant or probable cause could be grounds for taking legal action.
If you suspect that a recent police search obtained in your home, car, business place, or if an officer searched you, violated your Fourth Amendment rights, it is best to talk to an attorney who has experience with similar cases. If it turns out you are right, then you may file a lawsuit and seek justice. Many people are not aware of their rights and that the constitution is protecting them.
Your lawyer will make sure to inform you and explain to you how the said search violated your rights and what to do next. Our team at FBD Law is here to help you with any questions you have. Allow us to review your case and stand by your side during the legal process. We are here to make sure that justice is on your side in any case be it a car accident, or a violation of your rights. Call our office today and schedule your consultation.