Protection From Illegal Search and Seizure is Provided by the Fourth Amendment

At the David W. Martin Law Group, our Rock Hill criminal defense attorneys represent clients throughout South Carolina who have been arrested or charged with a crime, and those who have had their rights violated by law enforcement.

Our criminal defense lawyers in York County work tirelessly to protect our clients’ rights inside and outside the courtroom. In some cases, that means seeking a dismissal in cases built on evidence that violates the Constitution of the United States and its Fourth Amendment that protects our clients from unreasonable searches and seizures by state or federal law enforcement.

Excluding illegally obtained evidence is important in all cases but can mean the difference between our clients being subjected to lengthy jail sentences and their freedom in cases involving weapons or drugs. No matter your criminal charges, our skilled Rock Hill defense attorneys will examine the details of your arrest from every angle to ensure your rights are protected from the beginning.

When Does South Carolina Law Enforcement Need a Warrant to Search My Property? 

The Fourth Amendment applies in all circumstances, including searches of your person, property, and home. That means law enforcement may be required to obtain a warrant to search any part of your property.

A warrant cannot be issued without probable cause, or a certain level of suspicion of criminal activity. A judge must agree that the legal standard exists before signing the warrant and making it effective.

Within the warrant itself are details regarding what areas of the person’s property can be searched, and what can be seized from within the areas outlined in the document.

The legality of a search depends on where the search occurs, and an individual’s right to privacy in each of those areas, including searches involving:

  • Cars
  • Homes
  • People
  • Schools
  • Workplaces

The next component of the search’s legality includes whether the individual had an expectation of privacy in the area where the search occurred, and if that expectation is objectively reasonable and recognizable to the general public.

Our South Carolina criminal defense lawyers will test the legality of the search, and move to have any illegally obtained evidence suppressed, so it cannot be included — or used against you — in your criminal case.

When Can Law Enforcement Search Property Without a Warrant?

There are several instances where a search can legally occur without a warrant.

Those circumstances may include:

  • When an individual has been arrested, officers may search the person and his/her surroundings for weapons to ensure there is no danger to the officers or the public.
  • When an individual gives consent to the search.
  • When evidence is visible in plain view where the police are legally authorized to be.
  • When there is a police emergency, which may include law enforcement pursuing a suspect who may have fled into a private residence or business.

To protect your rights, you must never consent to a search of your person, property, or home without a warrant.

If you are arrested, you have the right to remain silent, and to obtain legal counsel before answering any questions the police, detectives, or investigators have. Invoke both rights immediately and contact our skilled criminal defense attorneys in Rock Hill by calling (854) 985-9200 or contacting us online today.

 

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