Arenstein & Gallagher Criminal Defense Attorneys
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The Fourth Amendment and probable cause

When people are arrested, they often forget that they are innocent until proven guilty and that the U.S. Constitution provides them with certain guarantees that cannot be taken away. One of those rights is enshrined in the Fourth Amendment, which protects people from unreasonable search or seizure. Courts interpret this to mean that police must have probable cause before they can search or arrest a suspect.

In the context of an arrest, probable cause means that police have a reasonable basis to believe that a crime has been committed. With regards to search and seizure, probable cause is found to exist when there is a reasonable basis to believe that evidence of criminal activity might be present in the place that is being searched.

With regards to search warrants, this means that when a search is conducted, there is a fair possibility that the search will lead to evidence that a crime was committed. Where the search is conducted without a warrant, it must be established in court, through testimony, that the search was justified after the search has taken place.

Search warrants tend to play an important role in white collar crime cases. For prosecutors to win a conviction in these cases, they need evidence of financial misdeeds or theft, and so they typically need a warrant to search financial records or other material.

It is important to know your rights in order to ensure they are protected. Those who have been accused of white collar crimes may be able to challenge the evidence obtained through various means and an experienced defense attorney may be able to guide them through the process.

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