Regardless of sex, race, age or socio-economic class, as Americans, we all have basic civil rights. Among these rights is the right to be protected from unreasonable and unlawful searches and seizures by the government or governmental agency actors-- including police officers.
The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution is one of the most important protections that we, as U.S. citizens, have. Sadly, it's also one of the most violated. In some cases, an individual may not even know that his or her Fourth Amendment Rights were violated.
What Protections Are Outlined In The Fourth Amendment?
1) Your right against unlawful search and seizure. This means that a police officer cannot enter or search your home, vehicle or person without your consent.
2) If you do not grant an officer permission, he or she must obtain a valid search warrant to conduct the search and carryout any search and seizure activities.
Did The Police Violate My Fourth Amendment Rights?
In cases where a police officer fails to obtain your consent and proceeds with a search and seizure, questions surrounding whether or not an officer had probable cause must be answered.
Probable cause is widely cited as justification by police officers who conduct what are otherwise unlawful searches and seizures. In general, if a police officer has a reason to believe that a residence, vehicle or individual is involved in criminal activity, this may constitute probable cause.
Taking Legal Action After An Unlawful Search And Seizure
If you were assaulted, falsely arrested and imprisoned and/or had property damaged or taken by the police in what you believe was an illegal search and seizure operation, you should stand up for your rights.
By taking legal action, you can fight against police misconduct and may also be able to recover money for your injuries and losses.