The 4th Amendment

4th amendement definition

The 4th Amendment

The 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Illinois Constitution protect individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures. Like many constitutional rights, the rights guaranteed by the 4th Amendment are personal rights, which means they cannot be vicariously asserted. In other words, an offender who is the victim of an illegal search and seizure of a 3rd premises or property has not had any of his or her 4th Amendment rights violated. As a result, the exclusionary rule does not apply to those offenders who are aggrieved by an illegal search and seizure only through the introduction of damaging evidence secured by a search of a third person’s premises or property.

Who Does the 4th Amendment Protect?

Fourth Amendment jurisprudence has always protected those who had “standing” to raise a 4th Amendment claim. However, modern 4th Amendment law is concerned whether the DUI offender claiming the protections of the 4th Amendment had a legitimate expectation of privacy in the place searched. The person challenging a search has the burden of establishing that he or she had a legitimate expectation of privacy in the searched property.

What Factors Does a Court Consider in Determining Whether a Person has a Legitimate Expectation of Privacy?

The question whether a defendant has a reasonable expectation of privacy in the area searched or the items seized must be resolved in view of the totality of the circumstances of the particular case. Relevant factors in determining whether a legitimate expectation of privacy exists include:

  1. The individual’s ownership or possessory interest in the property
  2. Prior use of the property
  3. Subjective expectation of privacy
  4. Ability to control or exclude others’ use of the property

What Should I do if I have been Illegally Searched?

The exclusionary rule applies to evidence that was illegally obtained. If you have been the victim of an illegal search it is imperative that you consult with an Illinois attorney who has the experience to litigate a motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence. An experienced Illinois attorney like the former DUI prosecutor at Jaleel Law P.C. will ensure that your Illinois attorney has the experience and know-how that you deserve.


The 4th Amendment protects you from the State violating your right to privacy and from conduction unreasonable searches and seizures. If your 4th Amendment rights have been violated it will prevent the prosecution from using the illegally obtained evidence against you.

If you have been arrested for a criminal offense or DUI, contact Jaleel Law P.C. to see if you have a valid claim that 4th Amendment rights have been violated.