As an American, you have many constitutional rights to protect you. One of those rights protects you from unreasonable search and seizure, which prevents law enforcement as to when they can search your property, including any illegal drugs in your possession. The 4th Amendment to the Constitution states that you have a right to privacy, so you should fully understand these rights if you find yourself being illegally searched and your property seized. Here are some things you need to know:

When Is a Search and Seizure Allowed?

United States citizens have a right to the expectation of privacy. When violated, the 4th Amendment applies. A legal search can happen with or without a warrant, however. Any search and seizure is legal when you allow the search to move forward with an officer of the law.

A search does not have to happen by an officer physically going through your property. If you have property that is visible, such as drugs on your car seat that an officer can see when looking through a window, it can be seized and you can be arrested without a search warrant in place. It is considered evidence in plain view. It can be held against you. If the illegal item can be seen in plain sight, you cannot make a claim of privacy.

What Should You Do If Think Your Rights Were Violated?

If you believe a search and seizure of your property was illegal, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. You will need to provide information about the situation so you can get out of jail on bond if allowed by the judge. Your attorney will then motion to suppress anything that was seized and to remove the item from evidence. If the motion is upheld, the court will have to dismiss the seized evidence due to an illegal search and seizure.

For example, if drugs are found hidden in your home because law enforcement found a key to the box you keep them in, the drugs and the box can be thrown out. They would be considered illegally seized. You could still face some punishment, but your charges may be reduced significantly if your 4th Amendment rights are violated.

If you believe this is the case in your drug-related charge, you need to call a criminal defense attorney right away to get the process started. You want to get any illegal evidence out of your case if at all possible.