You may be approached by a law enforcement officer, whether they arrive at your residential home or pull you over on the road, if they suspect you of having committed a crime. With this, they may conduct a search and seizure of your property and your person. Follow along to find out the limitations a law enforcement officer has in a search and seizure and how a proficient Kaufman County, Texas criminal defense lawyer at Harrel & Paulson, LLP can help you challenge this.
What Limitations Does a Law Enforcement Officer Have in A Search and Seizure?
Indeed, a law enforcement officer holds the freedom to search your home, car, or other property to “search” and “seize” evidence of a crime. However, certain actions are not legal under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. That is, a law enforcement officer has the following limitations:
A law enforcement officer cannot search your property and seize evidence without first obtaining a warrant.
A law enforcement officer cannot ask a judge for a warrant without probable cause.
A law enforcement officer cannot enter any property that a warrant does not specifically list.
A law enforcement officer cannot search for any items that a warrant does not specifically list.
Is It Possible to Challenge My Search and Seizure?
You may attempt to challenge the search and seizure placed against you, though this does not come without its challenges. This is because both federal and state courts alike have narrowed their meaning of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and have created many exceptions.
For one, a law enforcement officer may be allowed to conduct a search and seizure without a warrant if it falls into one of the categories of exceptions. In addition, a law enforcement officer may be allowed to expand their search and seizure beyond the specifications of a warrant if they spot obvious evidence that is in “plain view.”
Nonetheless, the Supreme Court still emphasizes the fact that a “traffic stop prolonged beyond the time reasonably required to complete the stop’s mission is unlawful.” With that being said, as a United States citizen, you hold the right to file a motion to suppress evidence. Essentially, this motion attempts to bar illegally- and unlawfully-obtained evidence from being presented by the prosecution in your court proceedings.
In addition, you may file a motion to suppress any confessions if you can successfully argue that they were obtained in violation of your Fifth Amendment rights. Notably, you hold these rights regardless of whether you are suspected or accused of committing a crime.
You must act fast when it comes to building a strong legal defense against the accusations you are facing. So you should not wait too long before contacting a talented Kaufman County, Texas criminal defense lawyer from Harrell & Paulson, LLP.