Every citizen has the right to privacy and freedom from illegal search and seizure, under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. That said, the idea of the exclusionary rule and where it applies, is often vague. This article discusses the exclusionary rule, its history, and various other aspects related to it.
To search and seize your property, the police should have a search warrant. Any evidence acquired illegally would be subjected to the ‘Exclusionary rule.’ The main objective of introducing this rule is to discourage misconduct by the people in power.
How legal resources define Exclusionary rule
If, during a trial, the ruling judge is informed of the fact that any evidence presented was obtained in violation of an individual’s Fourth Amendment rights, then said evidence is determined to be void. No matter how strong the evidence is, it cannot be used to affect the trial outcome. In short, lawmakers define exclusionary rule as a legal principle, which prohibits the use of any evidence that has been obtained through illegal searches and seizures, against the defendant in a criminal trial.
History of the Exclusionary rule:
The Exclusionary rule traces its origins back to 1886 Supreme Court trial of Bodyd vs. the United States. But it was only much later, in 1961 in fact, that the Supreme Court made it applicable to all federal and state cases.
While the exclusionary rule is still very much applicable, the meaning and definitions of this rule, and that of ‘illegal seizure’, have narrowed down to make room for certain exceptions. For instance, if the search was not illegal or if your property was not seized personally, then even if the evidence was obtained without a warrant, you cannot invoke this rule.
The ‘Plain View’ doctrine:
According to this legal principle, an officer has the authority to seize any illegal contraband or property within his plain view, even without a warrant to do the same. A court of law will accept any evidence that was collected under the ‘Plain View’ doctrine.
These are some aspects of the exclusionary rule. During a trial in the court of law, it is important that you understand the circumstances where the exclusionary rule applies and where it does not. Get the assistance of an experienced attorney to help you through the trial.Google+