Police and prosecutors have a wide array of tools at their disposal, and few are as effective as convincing those accused of a crime to give up their constitutional rights. Police are especially adept at creating the impression that they have the right to search your property, including your car or house. However, Anggelis & Gordon, PLLC, a Lexington, KY law firm with extensive experience trying criminal law cases, urges everyone to understand their rights when it comes to personal searches.
The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects citizens against unreasonable search and seizure, meaning a police officer cannot decide to arbitrarily search your property in the hopes of finding evidence of a crime. Rather, they must have a specific reason to suspect you of wrongdoing, which they can defend in a court of law.
However, the manner in which police tend to frame their requests to search often sounds more like a demand, which many people do not feel qualified to challenge. For example, when a police officer says, “You wouldn't mind if I took a look in your trunk,” many people would take this as polite notification of a search. They may sound authoritative, but it's important to remember they cannot search your vehicle without your consent.
In many cases, an officer requesting to search your property has already decided they would like to make an arrest and are at that point fishing for evidence to build a criminal law case. By politely and clearly stating “no,” you're standing up for your constitution rights. If they force you to comply, your criminal defense attorney may be able to use this behavior to mount your defense later.
The legal team at Anggelis & Gordon, PLLC has almost a century of combined experience helping protect the rights of their clients. Visit their website to learn more about their reputation for outstanding legal service, or call (859) 255-7761 to discuss your criminal law case with one of their attorneys today. You can also find the firm on Facebook.