An encounter with the police can be a frightening experience if you believe they are trying to connect you to a crime. But fortunately, the Constitution of the United States clearly states that citizens have rights when encountering law enforcement officials.
Previously on this blog, we began a discussion about the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. We addressed the limitations and requirements placed on police who want to conduct a search.
But it is also imperative to know how you can protect yourself when the police want to search your property. First, understand that you don’t have to say anything to the police. In particular, you want to avoid giving them any information that could later be used as incriminating evidence.
But if you give the police permission to search your residence, anything they find that ties you to a crime could be used to demonstrate your guilt. However, the police are not permitted to lie to you or attempt to coerce you when they are seeking your permission to perform a search.
If the police place you under arrest, they can perform a physical search of your person and the immediate area without a warrant. And If you are arrested in a residence, the police are also allowed to do a “protective sweep” to make sure that there are no accomplices on the premises.
If you are arrested for committing a crime and the police recover evidence while performing a search, keep in mind that if that search was not in accordance with the laws based on the Fourth Amendment, whatever is recovered may be thrown out of court.
But in order to make sure that your rights are protected, you need to have an experienced criminal defense attorney in your corner. An attorney can investigate the arrest and act to have any inadmissible evidence removed from your case, which may lead to a dismissal or reduction of the charges.