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Unfortunately, many accused of a crime are unfamiliar with their Constitutional rights, allowing the law enforcement officers who break the law to go unpunished. One of the most common violations is when the police conduct an unlawful search and seizure. If you’ve had your property investigated by the police, knowing whether or not it was legal is vital. Keep reading to learn more about your rights and discover how a Cobb County criminal defense lawyer to learn more about your rights.

What Is a Search and Seizure?

A search and seizure refer to the act of when a law enforcement officer, agent, or agency searches the home, business, car, property, or person of an alleged criminal to look for evidence of a crime. If a crime is discovered, they may seize or confiscate evidence. It is not uncommon for the police to also place an alleged criminal under arrest during this time.

What Can the Police Do?

When the police want to search your home for suspected criminal activity, they need one of three elements. This includes exigent or emergency circumstances, your consent, or a search warrant. A warrant is an order signed by a judge that grants permission for the police to search your property to look for evidence of a crime.

For example, if you’re suspected of hiding drugs in your garage, the search warrant may only cover that area of your property. As such, the police can only look in the areas detailed in the warrant. However, if there is something in plain view, your expectation of privacy no longer exists. For example, if you leave the door that connects your garage to your home open, which shows drugs on your dining room table, they can seize the drugs.

Do I Have Any Right During This Process?

As a citizen, you are protected under the Forth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which shields you from unlawful search and seizure. For example, if you do not consent to a search, the police have no exigent circumstances, and there is no warrant, law enforcement cannot investigate your property.

If the police conduct an unlawful search and seizure, you may be able to have the evidence collected dismissed, as it was a violation of your constitutional rights. Even if the police do have a warrant, they must adhere to the terms. For example, the police are allowed to conduct a safety sweep to ensure there’s no one hiding in the property to harm them. However, if they search your medicine cabinet and find illegal prescriptions during this sweep, it could be deemed inadmissible.

When you’re subjected to a police investigation, it can be confusing and scary. However, it’s essential to understand that you have rights. At the Miller Law Practice, we will do everything possible to explore the circumstances of your case to help you through this complex legal process. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you.