Punta Gorda, FL – The power of the government in Florida and other states, as well as the federal government, is limited by the Constitution. One of the most important protections for people accused of crimes is the manner in which the government can gather information, search a person’s physical space and belongings, and use this information against someone in a criminal prosecution. Anyone who has been arrested and charged with a crime should contact a lawyer to review their situation and see if there are Fourth Amendment issues or other possible defenses.
The text of the Fourth Amendment
This section of the bill of rights deals with unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. It essentially prevents the government from looking through anyone’s personal items or information without particular suspicion of a crime and a warrant. Limited exceptions have been made through cases over the years, but the general purpose is still intact. The main reason this Amendment was created is as a safeguard against the government’s authority to violate people’s privacy, keep the innocent free from random searches, and limit government authority to intrude upon their space without sufficient reason.
Illegally collected evidence
When the government does not collect evidence through the proper procedures, a defense attorney can file a motion to suppress to have these items excluded from the state’s case. This applies not only to searches of a person’s home, but also other government intrusions such as a traffic stop. In many cases, when the judge grants a motion to suppress, the state may have trouble proving the charges, as they cannot introduce crucial evidence at trial. This means that it is possible that the charge may be reduced or dropped when it is clear that the prosecutor will have difficulty proving all elements of the crime beyond all reasonable doubt.
What kinds of cases tend to have Fourth Amendment issues?
The Fourth Amendment has limited applicability to things like crimes that were witnessed while in progress and violent crimes with victims and witnesses. However, many crimes related to drug possession and trafficking, stops and searches of cars, and homes that were searched by law enforcement for various illegal materials may have Fourth Amendment issues. The defendants in these kinds of cases should speak with their criminal lawyer to see if any evidence may be excluded due to improper collection or violations of the warrant requirement.
Criminal attorneys in Florida
Anyone who needs help after an arrest in the Punta Gorda area can contact The Law Offices of Michael M. Raheb. The firm has extensive experience dealing with all aspects of criminal defense law.
Firm contact info:
2423 First Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901
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