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Search and seizure laws protect Virginians accused of crimes

| Aug 15, 2019 | Criminal Defense |

Criminal defense rights are critical for the protection of individuals accused of crimes. The criminal justice system can be intimidating for accused individuals to deal with, making knowing how to develop a criminal defense strategy vital for accused individuals facing any type of criminal charges.

Both the U.S. Constitution and the Virginia Constitution help protect the rights of individuals accused of crimes. One protection accused individuals enjoy is the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. This applies in circumstances such as traffic stops, arrests and searches of people or places. Authorities must have probable cause to make an arrest or perform a search. Before the accused individual seeks to challenge alleged evidence against them, it may be necessary to challenge how it was collected if police did not follow required search and seizure procedures.

Individuals have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their person, home, car and other circumstances. An unreasonable search or seizure may result in suppression of any evidence collected. Situations that may involve an unreasonable search or seizure includes an unlawful traffic stop that may lead to DUI charges; an unlawful search that may allegedly turn up drugs; unlawful entry into a residence without a lawful warrant to search; or an unlawful arrest that is not based on probable cause.

Evidence that is collected in violation of search and seizure protections may be thrown out, which can result in criminal charges being dismissed or reduced. This can result in eliminating or reducing the potential penalties and consequences the accused individual is facing. Criminal justice protections are an important line of defense against criminal charges, so it is essential that accused individuals know how to assert their criminal defense rights against unreasonable searches or seizures.