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3 reasons to refuse a police search

Do you know your rights if a law enforcement official requests to search you or your property? Whether or not you break any laws, you should be ready to protect yourself if police ever become suspicious of your behavior. Most people assume they should either automatically give police consent to search or do not know how to properly refuse a search.

You do not need to give police officers consent to search you. Here are some reasons why saying "no" to a police search is a good idea.

1. The Constitution protects you

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution gives you protections of your privacy. Unless police have probable cause to believe you are taking part in criminal activity, they need your consent to perform searches of you, your home or your car.

2. It can protect you in court

It is always a possibility for police to choose to search you even when you refuse to give permission, but you should still avoid giving it. If police conduct a search regardless and find evidence of a crime, the officer will have to provide the probable cause to perform a warrantless search. If there was no probable cause, you might win your case.

3. You do not know what they will find

Can you be completely confident there is nothing illegal in your car or home? For example, a friend could possess drugs but accidentally leave it in your house. You can try telling the police officer that it is not yours, but if you permitted a search, you would have a difficult time challenging the evidence.

Knowing your rights when confronted by police is crucial to protecting your own privacy. You should be careful of agreeing to a search. While you might not be able to stop an illegal search or a warrantless search based on probable cause, you can still protect yourself. If you believe the police unlawfully searched your property and you are facing serious criminal charges, talk to a criminal defense attorney.

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