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What is the exclusionary rule, and how can it impact your case?

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2023 | Criminal Defense

If you are facing criminal charges, it’s important that you understand your constitutional rights and how violations can impact your case.

One of those rights falls under the Fourth Amendment. Here’s what you need to know about the exclusionary rule.

Your Fourth Amendment rights

The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. This means that law enforcement must first obtain a search warrant from a judge based on probable cause. The warrant must also state the place to be searched and the items to be seized.

The exclusionary rule prevents law enforcement from using evidence gathered from an unreasonable search or seizure, which would be in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

The purpose of the exclusionary rule is to discourage police misconduct. It discourages law enforcement from violating a person’s constitutional rights by excluding evidence obtained illegally.

However, there are exceptions to the Fourth Amendment that aren’t in opposition to the exclusionary rule, such as:

  • A search of a person being legally arrested to prevent the destruction of evidence
  • If evidence is in plain view
  • If an individual gives consent to the search
  • There is an immediate threat to public safety

A vehicle can be searched without a warrant if the police officer believes it contains evidence of a crime. In addition, there are also some exceptions to the exclusionary rule, including:

  • Good Faith Exception
  • Independent Source Doctrine
  • Attenuation Doctrine

Rulings on the exclusionary rule and its exceptions continue to evolve at both state and federal levels. Therefore, working with someone who can help you build a strong defense strategy based on your specific circumstances is imperative.