Your Rights Under the Fourth Amendment

The fourth amendment to the United States Constitution protects citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures. The police normally must obtain a search warrant before searching you, your house, or your car. To get a search warrant, the police apply to a judge or a magistrate. The judge will issue a warrant only if the police present sufficient testimony and affidavits to establish probable cause that contraband or evidence of a crime will be found on the person or premises to be searched. The warrant must carefully describe the person or premises to be searched, as well as the type of contraband or evidence sought.

During the search, the police must stay within the scope of the warrant, which is determined by the object they are looking for. Something that is small and easily concealed justifies a more intensive search than a large object. For example, if the warrant is for drugs or a handgun, the police can open drawers, go through cupboards, take air vents off to look in ventilation shafts, and so forth. But if the search warrant were for a stolen twenty-seven-inch television set, the police would not be justified in going through drawers, ventilation shafts and other places too small to conceal the television.

At the Law Office of Douglas Pharr, we understand the urgency of your legal matter and can provide the legal help you need. Contact a criminal attorney in Napa right away to arrange a free consultation and we promise to explain your legal rights and give you the answers you need to know about your case. Call (707) 674-5868today.

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