All U.S. citizens are protected from unlawful search and seizure by the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It protects personal privacy and the right of every citizen to be free from unreasonable government intrusion into their homes, businesses, and property.
However, the law is worded very precisely. A search and seizure is only illegal if it is “unreasonable.” For example, if law enforcement searches your property without your permission after obtaining a judge-issued warrant, they have probable cause to be there looking for evidence.
Likewise, if it is an emergency situation and they fear for the lives or well-being of a particular person on your property, a police officer might search the premises. Law enforcement is also allowed to search your property if they suspect you might be destroying evidence, which would also constitute an emergency situation.
It would also be reasonable for law enforcement to search your property if they can see an illegal activity or product in plain view from where they are. For example, an officer has the right to glance into your car through the window, but if he or she sees a packet of drugs in the backseat, he or she also has a right to investigate further.
If your property was searched in an unreasonable manner, this would be considered illegal and any evidence gathered against you could not be used in court. If you find yourself accused of a crime, do your best to avoid a conviction by talking to one of our skilled Raleigh criminal defense lawyers as soon as possible. We have more than 50 years of combined legal experience to offer your case. Let us see what we can do to defend your rights and freedom.