David L. McCormick

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What are the exceptions to the Fourth Amendment?

On Behalf of | Mar 28, 2021 | Criminal Law

Minnesota and the remaining states all must uphold the Fourth Amendment right for their citizens. For those who are unaware, this right protects citizens from unreasonable seizures and searches by law enforcement. However, just like any other law, there are exceptions that all citizens should be aware of.

Exigent circumstances

Criminal law recognizes an exception to a person’s Fourth Amendment rights in the event of exigent circumstances. These are emergency situations where a person’s safety or life is in danger if a search is not performed. They also include instances where suspicion of the destruction of evidence is present. These exigent circumstances involve both personal property, automobiles and containers.

After a lawful arrest

Police officers have the right to find and seize any weapons that a person may have on them in the event of their arrest. This is allowed as a protective measure to prevent any sort of harm to the police officer. The officer may also seize evidence that is on the arrested individual to help prevent its intentional destruction by the arrested individual.

Officers are given consent

While all U.S. citizens have the right to protect their belongings according to the Fourth Amendment, they are fully capable of giving that right up. When a police officer asks a person’s consent to search their vehicle, property, or person, the person may grant them consent. This consent is completely voluntary.

Citizens throughout this great nation have many different rights. One of the most prized is their Fourth Amendment right to protect their property against unreasonable searches and seizures. While it would be nice if this right was black and white, that’s not the case. The above are the main exceptions that give law enforcement the legal right to search your property and person.