There are a variety of important criminal defense rights and protections that accused individuals should be familiar with. One such protection accused individuals may be familiar with, but may also have questions concerning, includes their 4th Amendment search and seizure rights which protect them from unlawful searches and seizures.

It is important to note right away that when an accused individual’s 4th Amendment search and seizure rights have been violated, such as in circumstances that lead to drug charges, it may be possible for the charges to be dropped. Any violation of 4th Amendment rights is significant and should be taken seriously. Search and seizure laws are important safeguards that should never be ignored.

Search and seizure protections protect individuals from being unlawfully seized by a law enforcement officer or other authorities which includes stops and arrests. Search-related protections protect individuals from having places and items for which they have a legitimate expectation of privacy searched without authorities meeting a certain legal standard and having a search warrant. There are few exceptions. Places and items that may be protected include an individual’s person, clothing, handbag, luggage, vehicle, house, place of business or hotel room.

A valid search or arrest warrant is dependent on a showing of probable cause and it is important for authorities to follow these procedures for the protection of an accused individual’s 4th Amendment rights. Search and seizure protections apply in a variety of circumstances and it is beneficial for accused individuals to also be aware of what those are. There are criminal defense protections built into the criminal defense system that accused individuals should be familiar with and know how to assert.