WHAT IS UNLAWFUL SEARCH & SEIZURE?
Posted: February 23, 2017
To counter the idea of a tyrannical government and preserve individual autonomy as well as freedom from unnecessary and harassing arrests, the founding fathers placed heavy restrictions on what federal and state law enforcement could do in terms of conducting these searches for evidence. However, banning searches outright meant that no justice would ever be served, so a careful balance had to be achieved. This balance is found in the Fourth Amendment, which guarantees protection from “unreasonable” search and seizure. However, “reasonability” is a common question and one that has been reviewed many times over. Let’s go over a basic outline of these laws and how they have an impact on your case.WHEN CAN OFFICERS SEARCH ME?
As a general rule, the Fourth Amendment states that law enforcement can’t conduct a search on anyone or their property without establishing a valid reason for doing so, and then using that valid reason to obtain permission. This permission is granted in the form of a search warrant, which is a document signed off by a judge who deems the reason for the search acceptable. However, search warrants are not wide-open permission slips to do whatever they please: officers are restricted to only searching for what they believe they’ll find and where they believe they’ll find it.