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What are your rights under the Fourth Amendment?

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When law enforcement authorities come knocking on a Wisconsin resident's door and confiscate materials from their residence, people may not be aware they have certain legal rights that must be protected in the process. The most important right a person has is guaranteed under the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution: due process of law, including lawful search and seizures.

An unreasonable search and seizure is one that is conducted without a search warrant and without probable cause. Unreasonable searches and seizures are unconstitutional and the evidence obtained through the search will most likely not be admitted into court. This pertains to searches not only in residences, but also in vehicles.

Unfortunately, unreasonable searches and seizures are most common when it comes to collecting evidence to prosecute an individual for drug offenses. For example, drugs that are found in what is considered "plain view," such as the dashboard of the car, may be seized and used as evidence, but those that are found in the trunk of the car may not be if a driver did not give permission to open it. Even then, the initial stop of the vehicle must have been lawful.

It might not seem possible, but not all evidence collected in either the accused's residence or vehicle is always lawfully collected. If someone believes their rights have been violated during their arrest, they might want to consider getting more information about their legal options and begin working their way toward possibly getting the evidence thrown out of court.

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Mays Law Office, LLC

6405 Century Avenue
Suite 103
Middleton, WI 53562

Phone: 608-535-4719
Fax: 608-257-0441
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