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What is my constitutional right to privacy?

There is a common misconception that when an Albany resident sees a policeman or woman knocking on the door, he or she should open it and allow them to come inside the house to search it. This is not the case-police officers either need a warrant to enter and search private property or should seek and receive consent. It is important to understand that giving consent is not essential and without it, evidence seized from a warrantless search is most likely going to be inadmissible in court.

The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution guarantees the right to privacy and the freedom from unreasonable governmental intrusions. The Fourth Amendment protects against those searches and seizures that are unreasonable under the law. Therefore, it is important to know what circumstances can be considered reasonable and what constitutes a violation of one's fundamental rights. Without this understanding, evidence that could otherwise be excluded might end up making it to trial.

A warrantless search may be illegal if there is no warrant. It could be legal if it is pursuant to a lawful arrest or if there is probable cause for searching the premises and exigent circumstance sexist to justify the search. If the objects being searched for are in plain view, a warrantless search may not be illegal.

There are a number of steps Albany residents can take if their constitutional rights have been violated. However, without understanding the law, it is not possible to assert one's rights. An aggressive criminal defense often consists of attacking many aspects of the prosecution's case and an experienced attorney can help people understand their options.

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