Think of how often you use technology. Even right now, reading this blog post, you are using some sort of device, be it your personal computer, work computer or smartphone. In 2017, technology is simply a way of life. We use Facebook to connect with friends and family, Spotify to listen to our favorite music and online banking apps to pay our bills. Due to this reliance on technology, it is important to know your legal rights when it comes to digital search warrants.
No 1: Authorities cannot confiscate your belongings without a search warrant
A recent case involving a request to confiscate possible evidence from Amazon’s Echo device is shining the light on the ever-changing role technology is having when it comes to obtaining evidence.
What is important to know, is that just as police cannot walk into your home and start looking around without a search warrant, the same can be said for your electronics. Whether it’s your computer, cellphone, digital camera or other type of electronic device, authorities need to take the proper channels in order to secure a search warrant before attempting to look through your personal belongs.
No. 2: Illegal search and seizures can lead to a dismissal of charges
Even though there are laws in place to protect your rights, this does not mean that authorities will always follow these laws. While we all hope it will not happen to us, the truth is that there are plenty of cases where police or investigators do not follow the proper protocols in order to gather information to eventually use against someone. However, in cases where this information is illegally gathered — a clear violation of your Fourth Amendment rights — the charges may end up being dismissed.
No. 3: Facing criminal charges? You will want to hire an attorney
Trying to prove a violation of your rights, or that you are not to blame for a crime, is a stressful and often times confusing process. This is where an attorney can step in on your behalf — to look at not only the evidence against you, but also how that evidence was obtained.