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What is Unreasonable Search and Seizure?

The fourth amendment helps protect the freedom and privacy of so many American citizens. It essentially states that it is "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

This means that a search and seizure by law enforcement without a warrant and without probable cause is illegal.

Evidence obtained in an illegal search that violates someone’s Fourth Amendment rights is not admissible as evidence of an individual’s guilt in court. Evidence like this is known as “fruit of the poisonous tree” because the state would not have the evidence had it not violated the defendant’s rights. A defendant can make a move to suppress illegal evidence, and then the state or law enforcement must prove to the court that the search and seizure were either permitted by a warrant or justified by some other exception.

What Should You Do Next?

If you or a loved one has been unfairly charged due to a violation of the 4th amendment, often the next best step to take is to talk to a criminal defense lawyer. The cost of fines combined with the cost of having a conviction on your record can be detrimental.

At Schweitzer & Davidian, we may be able to help with your charges today. Call us today to talk to someone about setting up your defense for your case. (559) 206-2322.