Understanding Search and Seizure Laws in Texas
Jan. 25, 2023
The Fourth Amendment grants every U.S. citizen protection from unlawful search and seizure by police officers or other law enforcement officials.
However, there are many unique circumstances that can play into these practices. It is fundamentally important that you fully understand your rights and use them if you think they may be violated.
At Walker Law Office, criminal attorney Mekisha Jane Walker will guide you through any misunderstandings you may have about Texas search and seizure laws and uphold your rights if you have been taken advantage of. Contact her office in Houston, Texas today and set up a free consultation. Attorney Walker provides her services to the areas of Harris County, Galveston County, Montgomery County, Fort Bend County, and Brazoria County, Texas.
Understanding Your Fourth Amendment Rights
The Constitution of the United States adamantly protects all citizens from unlawful search and seizure. This means, unless a law enforcement officer has probable cause or a signed warrant from a judge, you cannot be arrested or have your property searched unless law enforcement has a warrant or your consent.
In some cases, police officers may try to take advantage of your ignorance and claim to have the right to rifle through your belongings or detain you. The Fourth Amendment requires that anyone arrested without a warrant must be brought before a neutral judge for prompt judicial determination of any probable cause. Unless there’s a reasonable delay, you should be brought before a magistrate within 48 hours of your warrantless arrest.
If you know that your constitutional rights are being violated, get in contact with criminal attorney Mekisha Jane Walker at Walker Law Office in Houston, Texas immediately. She will protect your rights and hold the spiteful officers accountable for their actions.
Warranted Search and Seizures
While you should understand when you are not allowed to have your property searched or be arrested, you should also know how warranted search and seizures work and what you should do if you are subject to one.
First, police officers must have probable cause. Probable cause is sufficient evidence that could be used against you when facing criminal charges. The officer must get a warrant signed by a judge in order to search your property or arrest you. Another form of probable cause is when a police officer sees you committing a crime in real time; these are most common during traffic stops involving crimes such as speeding, running a red light, and driving while intoxicated.
In Texas, there are specific laws that apply to the search of your cell phone. A police officer can search your phone if:
The device was reported stolen
There is a life-threatening situation
The phone is in the possession of a known fugitive
You consent to the search
If you happen to be subject to a warranted search and seizure, remember that you have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. Do not attempt to explain anything during an arrest or investigation. Instead, decline to answer any questions and, if you’re in the Greater Houston area, contact Walker Law Office.
The Exclusionary Rule
Another important thing you should know is that evidence is not always admissible during a trial. If evidence was illegally taken from you, a skilled criminal attorney will fight to have the evidence excused from the court. If the whole basis of your arrest was fraudulent, this could lead to charges being dropped.
As a former prosecutor, Mekisha Jane Walker fully understands both sides of the aisle in criminal court and will aggressively defend your rights against unlawful search and seizure. For nearly two decades, she has been helping people accused of crimes throughout Houston, Texas obtain the best possible outcome. Rely on her knowledge today.
Defend Your Fourth Amendment Rights
We live in a country that values the rights and privacy of its citizens. However, some police officers use their power to take advantage of vulnerable people. That is why criminal attorney Mekisha Jane Walker will fight for you when wrongfully detained or raided.
If your constitutional rights have been violated, contact Walker Law Office in Houston, Texas today, and schedule a free consultation. Attorney Walker serves also serves the areas of Harris County, Galveston County, Montgomery County, Fort Bend County, and Brazoria County, Texas.