One of the most common ways for law enforcement to gain evidence about a crime is to conduct a search and seizure of your property. However, police must have a valid reason or warrant in New Jersey to perform a search and take your items. Despite this, there is a legal gray area, and it is essential to know your rights under the law to protect yourself and your family.
Search and seizure
The process of a search of your property, such as your home or car, is a typical police tactic to find evidence. These searches are often done with a warrant or a written agreement from a judge. The other option police have to conduct a search is when they have probable cause or reason to suspect criminal activity.
If police find evidence they think is important, they may take or seize those items as part of their investigation. These items are often held for an extensive period of time and can be difficult for you to get returned.
Your fourth Amendment Rights
U.S. law provides protection from illegal or unlawful searches and seizures by the police. Under the fourth amendment, you have the right not to have police search you without reason. This is one of the most important rights you have as a citizen. It can protect you from having your items taken away and prevent the use of false evidence against you in a court of law during a criminal defense case.
In many cases, police officers must have a warrant to search areas such as your home. However, when stopped for a traffic offense, sometimes police may have the right to conduct a search, should they believe there is a credible reason. Therefore, it is critical to understand this law and how it protects you.
The fourth amendment provides you with a great deal of protection from illegal searches and seizures. Understanding how this law can impact you is vital to protecting your rights.