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Legitimate Expectation of Privacy During a Home Search

Privacy is one of the fundamental rights given to us by the United States Constitution. This has been best described as a “legitimate expectation of privacy” of the area to be searched. Our Founding Fathers believed that people deserved the right to protect their property, which is why they created the 4th Amendment that guarantees all people be free of unreasonable searches and seizures by our government.

To put it another way, people are guaranteed by our Constitution that searches of their person, places, things, and homes must be reasonable unless there is an exigency. Exigency refers to a situation in which a law enforcement officer has a reasonable need to enter a residence without a warrant. For example, in an emergency situation, police are allowed to enter a residence without violating the resident's constitutional rights against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Unless you give them consent, the police cannot enter your home without a warrant, reasonable suspicion, or probable cause. Searches and seizures usually occur when police believe there is probable cause that you have committed a crime or an emergency exists. Normally the police will obtain a warrant. Under the 4th Amendment, if the search or seizure was unreasonable, the evidence seized by law enforcement will be inadmissible.

Boyd v. The United States

More than 131 years ago, in Boyd v. The United States, 116 U.S. 616, 630 (1886), it was established that the Fourth Amendment applies to all invasions on the part of the government (including police) and its employees of the sanctity of a man's home and the privacies of life. The essence of the offense is the invasion of his indefeasible right of personal security, personal liberty, and private property.

Dublin Criminal Defense Attorneys

Our first job as criminal defense attorneys is to review all of the information and determine whether the police or other law enforcement agencies violated constitutional rights involving the search/seizure of your person, vehicle, or home.

As attorneys, we know that the prosecution has the burden to justify a warrantless search and seizure. This especially applies to residential searches, because the physical entry of the home is the chief evil against which the wording of the Fourth Amendment is directed.

Police entry into one's private home to carry out an arrest or search without a warrant violates the Fourth Amendment unless the government can prove that exceptional circumstances justified a departure from the normal procedure of obtaining a warrant.

The 4th Amendment, absent a warrant, mandates that all persons are guaranteed against unreasonable searches and seizures. That means, unless you consent, without a warrant, the police cannot enter your home. That is your constitutional right.

Do you have questions about an illegal search or other criminal defense cases? Then call (888) 865-0741 today to request your free consultation with our experienced team of lawyers.

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