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What are a person’s rights under the Fourth Amendment?

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution ensures that individuals shall be protected from “unreasonable searches and seizures” and that any warrants that are issued against them shall be based on “probable cause”. These are heavy terms for individuals who are not familiar with the law, but Little Rock residents can be well-served to have a basic understanding of their rights under the Fourth Amendment, particularly when they are facing serious drug crime accusations.

This is because the illegal actions of law enforcement officials may violate the Fourth Amendment and therefore make the searches, collections of evidence and warrants used to arrest and convict individuals illegal as well. If a person’s Fourth Amendment rights are violated they may have a strong case to have their charges set aside.

Legal interpretation has helped define what constitutes an unreasonable search of a person, their home, their vehicle or their possessions. Searches generally cannot be based on hunches or be executed arbitrarily. Those that are may be found to be unreasonable. If a search is illegal, the evidence that law enforcement officials collect from it may also be illegal. Therefore, if evidence of drug crimes is found during an unreasonable search, that evidence may be excluded from a person’s criminal trial.

This post should not be read as legal advice for any person facing criminal charges. Rather, it is offered to inform readers that they have rights under the law and protections through the Fourth Amendment. Their criminal defense attorneys may be able to help them better understand how those rights and protections may serve them in the event they find themselves facing drug charges.

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