The Fourth Amendment and one’s rights during an investigation

On Behalf of | Jul 29, 2022 | Criminal Defense

When police suspect an individual of committing a crime, they typically take steps to determine what happened. The course of an investigation usually includes speaking with witnesses and gathering evidence, but there are limits to how and when law enforcement can do this. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects individuals against illegal searches and seizures, a protection that is vital when suspected of any type of criminal activity. 

Protections provided by Fourth Amendment 

Texas defendants would be wise to become familiar with the Fourth Amendment and what it could mean for their specific case. Because of this Amendment, police are prohibited from unreasonably intruding into people’s homes, businesses and other places where they have the expectation of privacy. There are specific limits to when police can question a suspect or enter certain areas to gather evidence or confiscate personal property. 

Police are limited to how and when they can speak to a suspect. For example, they cannot simply detain a person or stop him or her for questioning whenever they please. Police must have probable cause, a search warrant or arrest warrant to place someone under arrest, search private property and take other investigative steps. 

A violation of one’s rights 

If law enforcement somehow violated one’s constitutional rights over the course of a criminal investigation, that individual can fight back. Challenging the actions of the police could compromise the prosecution’s entire case, and each person charged with a crime has the right to seek the best possible outcome for his or her case. This is most effectively done with the assistance of an experienced Texas defense attorney.