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What rights are protected under the Fourth Amendment?

Much has been said about the constitutional rights a person has when they are arrested on suspicion of committing a crime. But, what are those constitutional rights and what do they guarantee?

Personal privacy is protected under the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America. This includes the right of everyone across the country, including New Orleans residents, from unreasonable government intrusion into their homes, persons, property and businesses. These protections extend to when the police stop a person by way of an arrest, or when police search places and items where someone has an expectation of privacy. When their privacy has been violated, for example, an area is searched without a valid search warrant, then the unlawfully seized evidence cannot be used in a criminal trial against that person.

However, it is not just within the house where one has this expectation of privacy. Constitutional safeguards apply and protect someone when they are walking down the street and are questioned by the police or when the police search a the trunk of a car if the driver was stopped for a minor traffic infraction, in addition to the traditional arrest setting.

Understanding when to avail constitutional safeguards is very important, as it may be a stepping stone for a successful criminal defense. When someone is facing criminal charges, they should use every possible avenue available to protect their rights, and an aggressive defense attorney may be able to assist in the matter.

Source: Cornell Law School, "Fourth Amendment," accessed September 4, 2017

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