The search and seizure law is a law that is in the U.S. Constitution. The Fourth Amendment protects people's rights and their property, not allowing police to search through personal belongings, seize contraband, or make arrests under certain jurisdictions. If you believe the police acted unjustly during your arrest or while seizing your property, then you might be able to use that during your criminal trial. Here is more information about the search and seizure law, and what the rules are.
What the Fourth Amendment Says
The first thing to understand is exactly how the fourth amendment protects you. It states that police can't search your vehicle, property, or person without reasonable cause. That "reasonable" word is key to this, because it is the line drawn between searching legally or illegally. The fourth amendment is in place to protect your privacy. If a police officer goes into your home without an invitation, did not have a good reason to believe you had anything illegal, and took illegal drugs, they might not be used in court. The police officer did not have a reasonable cause to search and seize, which means it won't hold up in court.
When You Aren't Protected by the Fourth Amendment
There are exceptions to this search and seizure rule. In regards to the fourth amendment, you are only protected when there is a legitimate expectation of privacy. This means if a police officer has absolutely no reason to believe you have contraband in your home, they can't just enter and start searching. However, if you are pulled over by a police officer and they see a gun in your glove box when you get your car registration paperwork, that is reasonable cause and they can search your car. If this search resulted in an arrest, it is not against the fourth amendment.
If a police officer has reason to believe you have contraband in your home or they need to search the premises for other reasons, they may need to get a warrant. With a warrant from a U.S. judge, there is nothing you can do to stop them from entering your home.
What to do if Your Rights Were Violated
If you believe you are a victim of unlawful search and seizure, you should first consult a criminal attorney. They understand the complicated rules of the fourth amendment and can tell you if the police went against the search and seizure law or not. It isn't black and white, and there is a large gray area you need to be aware of. It is possible that some of the evidence used in your criminal trial can't be used because it was seized unlawfully, or in other cases, your case is thrown out altogether for lack of proper evidence. Consulting a criminal lawyer is your best chance at proving they violated your rights.
If you've recently moved into a new house and your neighbors are claiming you've infringed on their property line with your new fence, you may not know what to do. Sure, the idea of contacting a lawyer can be intimidating, but if your neighbors are insistent that you're on their property and you can't prove otherwise, an attorney may be the best choice. I created this site to help people just like you understand the laws surrounding property boundaries, real estate claims, and similar issues. I hope that the information here will give you some clarity as to whether or not you need to consult an attorney to protect your interests.