The right to protection from illegal search and seizure

On Behalf of | Dec 23, 2022 | Criminal Defense

When law enforcement agents conduct a criminal investigation, they will take steps to gather evidence, talk to witnesses and build a timeline of the suspect’s activities. At no point during the investigation, however, can the police violate the rights of a Texas suspect, regardless of the case against him or her. One of the constitutional rights provided to each individual is the protection against illegal search and seizure as outlined in the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. 

What does the Fourth Amendment mean? 

There are limits to how and when investigators can gather evidence and speak to suspects. According to the Fourth Amendment, each person has the right to privacy and protection against unreasonable intrusion from the government. Because of this amendment, police can only stop, arrest, question or apprehend someone in specific circumstances or with the right legal permission to do so.  

The Fourth Amendment also means that police cannot search a person’s vehicle, home, workplace or anywhere else there is a reasonable expectation of privacy without the appropriate permission. In most circumstances, police must have a valid search warrant to conduct a search or a valid arrest warrant to take someone into custody. 

Violations of Fourth Amendment rights 

If there is a violation of someone’s Fourth Amendment rights, it could affect the entire case against him or her. Any evidence collected during an illegal search or seizure will likely be invalid and excluded from the case against the defendant. It is useful for a person under investigation to have the counsel of a Texas defense attorney to understand if there has been a violation of his or her constitutional rights.