The Fourth Amendment of the United States protects people from unreasonable searches by the government. This protects you in your home, on your property, in your vehicle and in your business. It protects you when you're walking alone, and it protects you during arrests and police stops.
Thanks to the Fourth Amendment, it's not legal for an officer to pull you over without reasonable cause and then search your vehicle. To search your vehicle, an officer needs a valid arrest warrant, a search warrant or probable cause to search your vehicle. Probable cause only applies if there's a good reason that the officer believes you've committed a crime.
What happens if your Fourth Amendment rights are violated?
If the court determines that the search or seizure was a violation of your constitutional rights, then the evidence collected against you will be kept out of a criminal case. For instance, if an officer searched your vehicle even though he had no reason to pull you over, the evidence he collected could be withdrawn from the case and wouldn't be able to be used against you.
Your Fourth Amendment rights are important. If you have been the victim of an unfair and illegal search and seizure of your property, you need to speak out and seek legal help. The right legal help can assist you in having the case and any charges against you dropped, since the evidence was illegally obtained. Our website has more information on your Fourth Amendment rights and what you can do if you think they've been violated.