As a citizen, understanding the rights afforded to you by the United States Constitution is critical. One of the most important rights is the Fourth Amendment, which protects from unreasonable searches and seizures by law enforcement. To ensure that a search is legal, the police must obtain a search warrant. However, they must demonstrate probable cause to conduct a search before this is issued. This blog explores what you should know about these matters if you believe your Constitutional rights were violated through an unreasonable search and seizure, and why connecting with Harris County criminal defense lawyers is critical to protecting your rights.

What Is a Search Warrant?

A search warrant is a document issued by the courts that allows the police to search a person’s property and grants the power to seize any evidence located at the scene. Generally, this is done because the police believe a crime has been committed.

If the police do not have a warrant and ask to search your property, you do not have to consent. If they proceed regardless, this is deemed an illegal search. However, if the officers have a warrant, they do not need your consent to search. Even if you object, this will not be considered an illegal search, as they obtained the necessary documents.

It’s important to understand that the police must present this warrant to anyone at the scene of the search. Additionally, they are limited to certain areas as dictated in the search warrant. If they look for evidence outside of the scope of the warrant, this can impact the legality of the search.

You should also know that the police must have probable cause to obtain a warrant. Generally, this includes a signed and sworn affidavit explaining why they believe there is evidence at the scene they are requesting to search. When presented with the affidavit, if the judge believes there is not enough cause to warrant a search, they will not sign the document.

If My Rights Were Violated, What Should I Do?

If you have reason to believe your rights were violated, whether the warrant was invalid or the police violated the scope of their warrant, this could be an infringement of your constitutional rights. As such, it’s in your best interest to connect with an experienced attorney to explore your legal options.

You may be able to have the evidence collected at the scene deemed inadmissible in court. This can help weaken the prosecution’s case against you, meaning you may have a more favorable outcome.

When your rights are violated by the police, it’s imperative to connect with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. At the Sparks Law Firm, we understand how upsetting these matters can be, which is why our team is dedicated to fighting for you. Contact us today to learn how we can represent you and fight for justice.