Understanding your constitutional rights in Tennessee can help you protect your privacy, including the security of your home and personal belongings. Not everyone realizes that if these rights are violated, the police may not be able to use whatever evidence they find from your house. This could potentially help you if such a search and seizure leads to a criminal trial. The main thing you will want to know is when police can and cannot legally enter your home. Be sure to talk to a Tennessee criminal law lawyer if your home was wrongfully entered and you have concerns about this. 

When No Warrant is Needed

There are certain situations in which the fourth amendment permits a  by the police or government agents like the FBI. These are called legal exceptions to the fourth amendment in which law professionals can enter your home and search through your belongings. If evidence is found, they may be able to collect this evidence to use in court or for later examination.

Some exceptions to the rule include when:

  • You consent to the search or allow the police to come inside
  • Your vehicle if there is reasonable suspicion

Exceptions with certain searches include:

  • A suspicion that evidence will be altered, hidden or destroyed
  • A police investigation will be jeopardized
  • Someone is in physical danger unless a search is conducted
  • A potential suspect will escape prosecution

Any of these can be legally justified to a judge in court. No warrant is required in specific circumstances like these. Consider talking with a lawyer if an unlawful search was conducted on your premises. You may be able to fight for your rights in court even if evidence was found.

How the Fourth Amendment Works

Understanding the  can help you protect your rights when the police knock and ask to search your home. This amendment protects your home from unreasonable searches and seizures. In other words, searches with inadequate explanations or reasons.

Some officers may try to talk you into letting them into your home. The trick with this is that once they are inside, they can look around during the conversation. If they see anything suspicious, they can legally search the rest of your home without a warrant. Certain questions may be aimed to make you give self-incriminating statements. Use your right to remain silent.

To avoid this, you can politely shut your door and have the conversation outside. Any suspicion of destruction of evidence, even a toilet flushing, may be enough to provoke what would be considered a reasonable search. Illegal objects or activity in plain view also justify a search and seizure.