What are my Fourth Amendment Rights in a Los Angeles Criminal Case?

The United States Constitution, under the Fourth Amendment, gives each person the right to be protected from unreasonable search and seizure. If evidence is gathered as the product of an unreasonable search and seizure, then that evidence will not be admissible by prosecution during the criminal case.

The most common question our clients have is in regards to drugs that are found via a search of their vehicle or home. There must be a reasonable suspicion before an officer can check a person’s vehicle or home for drugs. For example, if a person is driving a vehicle and is stopped for a broken taillight, does the officer have a right to search the vehicle for marijuana possession?

The officer may not search the vehicle unless he has a reason to believe that there may be marijuana in the car. Such reasons include if the officer smells the marijuana in the car, or if he sees that the person looks like he or she has been smoking, or they observe something that leads to a strong belief that there is marijuana in the car.

There are many exceptions to the fourth amendment right, and it becomes complex in different situations. One of the biggest reasons there are no clear cut rules for when evidence will be considered in violation of the fourth amendment, is because the facts of each case differ. The rule is a subjective one and will be determined on a case by case basis.

An experienced Los Angeles Drug Offense Attorney has dealt with thousands of drug possession cases and can determine when evidence is inadmissible and in violation of the fourth amendment. Having evidence thrown out may potentially result in a case dismissal due to a lack of sufficient evidence. Be sure to have a Criminal Defense attorney that will be well prepared with a powerful defense and will pursue all the different defenses available to you.