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What does illegal search and seizure mean for you?

If you are under investigation for criminal activity, you may be unsure of what you should do or say to protect your interests when dealing with law enforcement. 

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects you from unlawful search and seizure procedures by law enforcement. This means that, even if Virginia law enforcement is investigating your activities and preparing to file charges against you, there are limits to what they can do. An illegal search and seizure could undermine the prosecution’s case.

What should you know about search and seizure? 

The intent of the Fourth Amendment is to protect your right to privacy and your property rights. This means there are specific procedures police must follow when searching your home, vehicle, property and even your person. This protection extends to people:

  • Stopped for police questioning while walking down the street
  • Pulled over for a minor violation of traffic laws
  • Facing arrest after police enter the home
  • Subjected to a police search of their home or private property 

These are just a few examples of how this specific law can protect your rights, even when facing allegations of criminal behavior.

Police, in most cases, must have a valid search warrant to come into your home. Most of the time, there must be a valid arrest warrant in order to take a person into police custody.

When an officer does not correctly handle the search and seizure process, it can lead to a complete dismissal of all evidence collected from it. It is beneficial to carefully evaluate the actions of law enforcement and take action when there are problems. 

Your right to a defense

No matter what type of charges you are facing, you have the right to a defense. If you experienced inappropriate treatment from law enforcement or a violation of your rights, you can challenge this and fight for fair treatment. People facing criminal charges of all types would be wise to take quick action to build a strong and effective defense strategy, even if the case is still in the investigative stages.

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