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What are the protections against an illegal search or seizure?

| Mar 15, 2019 | criminal defense |

When facing criminal charges, and considering criminal defense strategies and options, it is helpful for accused individuals to be familiar with their criminal defense rights. Knowing those rights can help accused individuals develop a strong criminal defense strategy that can help them with their charges.

Accused individuals have important protections from an illegal search or illegal seizure that they should be familiar with. The 4th Amendment provides protections against an illegal search and seizure but what makes a search or seizure illegal? There are procedures that law enforcement must follow and requirements they must meet to ensure the legality of a search or seizure under the 4th Amendment.

Legal protections under the 4th Amendment extend to authorities seizing a person through a stop or an arrest or authorities searching places or items for which individuals have a legitimate expectation of privacy such as their person, clothing, luggage, purse, vehicle, apartment, house, hotel room or place of business. To be valid, the search or seizure must be supported by probable cause which is what a search warrant or arrest warrant is based on. The probable cause standard requires that police reasonably believe a crime was committed and that the accused individual committed the crime.

When a search or seizure is not valid, or is illegal, the accused individual may want to seek to have the charges dropped as a part of their criminal defense strategy. Criminal defense options provide protections to help accused individuals have their charges reduced or to mitigate the potential penalties and consequences they are facing, especially when evidence was obtained in an illegal search or an illegal arrest was made. Because accused individuals can lose so much because of criminal charges, it is important they are familiar with criminal defense protections and options when facing criminal charges.