The authors of the U.S. Constitution greatly feared abuse of power by the government. They did not like the idea of police officers being able to enter someone’s house whenever they deemed it necessary. This concern motivated the Founding Fathers to create the Fourth Amendment, which protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures and warrantless searches. The term “unreasonable” means that there are certain circumstances when it is reasonable for a police officer to perform a search or seizure. There are some circumstances where a police officer does not need a warrant to conduct a search—for example, a police officer is permitted to enter a residence to seize a person without a warrant if there are exigent circumstances and probable cause
Do Warrantless Searches Violate the Fourth Amendment?.
The U.S. Supreme Court applied the Fourth Amendment in a recent case, People v. Lange. In that case, the U.S. Supreme Court considered whether or not an officer’s warrantless search violated the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights. The defendant was blaring loud music and purposelessly honking his horn; both of which were misdemeanors. An officer observed this conduct and followed the defendant to his home. The officer put his police lights on and attempted to stop the defendant before he got to his house, but the defendant never pulled over. He drove into his garage and attempted to close the garage door but the officer got out of his car and stopped the garage door from closing, constituting a warrantless search.
The defendant argued that the officer did not have probable cause or an exigent circumstance to justify the warrantless search, and therefore acted unconstitutionally by preventing the garage door from closing. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding that the police officer’s warrantless search was justified because the officer had witnessed the defendant committing a crime, and the defendant did not yield to the officer when the officer put on his police lights and attempted to stop the defendant. Therefore, the police officer had probable cause and an exigent circumstance, justifying the warrantless search.
Know your rights! Contact Criminal Defense Attorney Wallin & Klarich Now
In People v. Lange, the officer did his job and did not act unconstitutionally—but this is not always the case. Sometimes police officers—purposefully or not—go beyond what the constitution allows them to. When you are the subject of an unconstitutional search by police, it is crucial to have excellent legal representation that can defend your rights and hold police officers accountable to the constitution. The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich are highly experienced at defending the rights of criminal defendants. If you are in need of legal representation in a criminal case, give the attorneys at Wallin & Klarich a call.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles, and San Diego, you can find an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available near you no matter where you are located.
Contact our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (714) 587-4279 for a free, no-obligation phone consultation. We will be there when you call.