Under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, a person is protected against illegal search and seizure. No one’s personal space with which they have a legitimate right to privacy may be violated by unreasonable search. Any authority searching personal spaces must have a search warrant, or probable cause, or the search will be unreasonable.
If the evidence was seized unreasonably, and it is proven in Court that officer’s violated the person’s Fourth Amendment rights, the exclusionary rule will apply.
The exclusionary rule states that any evidence that has been obtained as a result of an unreasonable search or seizure, will be excluded as direct evidence in a criminal case. Many feel that it is extreme to now allow evidence that could convict a guilty person due to a officer’s misconduct. However, the exclusionary rule deters officers from straying from rules that protect a citizen’s privacy.
For example, officers have been watching David grow and sell marijuana in large quantities for about two weeks. They have gathered surveillance and photographs that could convict David. One day, while David is putting away kilos of marijuana in his garage, officers who are watching storm into his home and confiscate all evidence they find. The officer’s search was unreasonable. They had time to get a search warrant, and did not need to immediately search the premises. There was no exigent circumstances that warranted immediate action. Immediate action will comprise reasonable searches in situations where there is an immediate threat of the suspect getting away, or evidence being destroyed. In this situation, David did not know that the officers were watching, and officers did not need to act immediately.
When David’s case goes to Court, the evidence confiscated in the house will fall under the exclusionary rule and will not be used as direct evidence against him at the trial for Drug Possession and Sales. This ensures in the future that officers take the time to obtain a valid search warrant and demonstrate to the Judge that there is enough evidence to justify an intrusion of Defendant’s property.
An experienced Los Angeles Criminal Defense lawyer has dealt with thousands of criminal defense cases. Many of which involve evidence that was obtained illegally and in violation of a person’s Constitutional rights. These pieces of evidence should not be considered at trial. In many situations, when the evidence is not admitted, it leads to a dismissal of the charge for lack of evidence. This is why it is very important to determine whether all evidence was obtained properly, otherwise it could result in your charges being dropped or dismissed. Consult a Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney to discuss your case and assess the facts so that you are sure you properly present all defenses that are available to you and proper arguments that strengthen your case.