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Do you believe that the police search of your home was illegal?

by | Nov 1, 2022 | Criminal Defense

You have a reasonable expectation of privacy when in your own space, whether you own your own home or your rent a small studio apartment. You also have protection from unreasonable searches and seizures thanks to the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.

The Fourth Amendment is one of the more robust protections in place for those dealing with the government. Still, police officers may intentionally bend or break the rules intended to protect the public from government overreach.

Limitations on searches and property seizures help prevent abusive prosecution and harassment by state authorities. What rights do you potentially have if you believe a search of your home was a violation of your rights?

You can invoke the exclusionary rule

Given that police cannot conduct unreasonable searches and have an incentive to break that rule to maintain a high solve rate or arrest rate, the courts have to enforce a rule that prevents prosecutors from using evidence gathered illegally in court.

If you can show that the police officers searching your home did not have a warrant, permission or probable cause, you could convince the courts to exclude the evidence gathered during the search from your hearings in court. The exclusionary rule prevents the use of such evidence in a criminal trial.

If you can convince the judge that police officers violated your rights, the evidence they collected after illegally entering or searching your property will not count against you in criminal proceedings.

Knowing your rights can stop illegal searches from happening

If you understand what a police officer needs to do for their search to be legal, then you are in a better position to interact with law enforcement when they show up at your front door.

For example, when you realize that they need permission to search in many cases, you can decline to speak with them in your home and instead ask them to talk with you outside. You could also ask to review a warrant for accuracy and completion even if officers claim they have a document signed by a judge.

Knowing your rights and asserting them when dealing with law enforcement officers or heading to criminal court can help you reduce your risk of criminal charges and your chance of conviction after an arrest.