The Fourth Amendment protects all United States citizens from unlawful search or seizure of their property. This is your fundamental right, and it is important to understand situations in which it is being violated. In many drug-related cases, the prosecution presses charges based on something that has been seized from the defendant. There are cases in which the seizure was illegal according to the Fourth Amendment rights of the defendant. Defense attorney’s use this law and argue that the search conducted was illegal thus, whatever was recovered is inadmissible in court.
The law states that people are safe from unreasonable searches in their homes or any other personal space. So what qualifies as an unreasonable search? Any search conducted without a warrant, while you were expecting privacy is unreasonable and illegal. In the United States, people expect privacy in their homes, in their automobiles and personal accessories like bags and wallets. However some law enforcement officers may perform searches without a warrant, and it is the defense attorney’s job to make sure that the judge knows about this. There should be considerable evidence or testimony from another person to get a search warrant violating someone’s privacy.
It is also important to understand that the Fourth Amendment only protects you from government agencies and law enforcing authorities. If a private individual searches you and invades your privacy to find drugs or any other illegal substance, then your Fourth Amendment rights cannot be used as a viable defense.
If you have been searched by law enforcement officers and charged with a drug- related crime, it is advisable to contact a defense attorney as soon as possible. Explain your situation to the attorney who will assess whether you were unlawfully searched and help you devise a defense strategy.