Notes On The Exclusionary Rule

What is the exclusionary rule

Evidences and the exclusionary rule

There are many rules that one has to be familiar with while practicing law. Unlike ordinary folk, these rules are the bread and butter for those who are in the profession of representing people and advising on legal issues.

Law is easy to study. Each law leads to the next and with a bit of logic one can easily pass through law school. However, the real difficulty comes in its application. Merely citing a law is not enough. How effectively you can use the points to argue your case is the true test and hallmark of a competent lawyer.

What is the exclusionary rule?

One of the most hotly contested rules is that of the exclusionary rule. This rule brought in as the Fourth Amendment and implemented throughout the country with the Fourteenth Amendment. The exact text of the rule might be confusing so here is a simple example that should convey the same.

Consider a person who is enjoying the Super Bowl on TV. Suddenly there is a knock on the window and the police come barging in and ransack his home for evidence. They find something and based on that, take the person into custody. Is there something wrong with that situation? If you think that it was unbecoming of an officer to search for evidence without producing a warrant to the same, then you are right.

Fourth Amendment

     Rule to prevent violation of privacy

A police officer’s actions are governed by a set of laws. The exclusionary rule has a role to play here. It states that no evidence may be obtained forcefully or without producing a warrant for search and seizure. This was to protect the citizen’s right to privacy, which is enshrined in the constitution of every democracy. In the above example, the police cannot use evidence used without such authorization in court or hold the same against a person to bring him into custody.

What is the exclusionary rule role when it comes to deciding cases? Judges can dismiss cases outright if they find that the primary evidence that was used to implicate a person was obtained in violation of the fourth amendment. The person can then move against the investigating agency for violating privacy and seek damages. There are however certain arguments that the investigating agency can cite to defend its position. If an officer simply happens to come across evidence rather than intentionally forcing his way to gather evidence, then such evidence may be admitted in court.

So, you see, the exclusionary rule is both a boon and a bane. Moreover, like every other tool, this too has to be handled well to be of use to the user.

Search And Seizure Laws In New York

What is the exclusionary rule

                     Aspects of the Exclusionary rule

Search and seizure is a procedure wherein the investigators are permitted to search a person, paperwork or even a property in order to acquire evidence that may be a relevant to particular crime; it also authorizes them to seize any pertinent evidence to produce the same in court. Even though it was introduced as an instrument to assist in seeking out the truth, there have been instances wherein search and seizure was conducted unreasonably and without a warrant. For this reason, the Fourth Amendment of the Federal Constitution brought with it certain rules to protect the U.S. citizens against unreasonable search and seizure.

Legitimate expectation of privacy

The New York state follows the ‘legitimate expectation of privacy’ principle. Here, the Fourth Amendment protects the U.S. citizens from illegal search and seizure that is conducted in two conditions- when the individual himself demands for his right to privacy; and second when the public acknowledges that his expectation is a reasonable one. This may of course be subjected to interpretation and therefore state courts are granted fluidity to an extent while making decisions.

What is the exclusionary rule

The exclusionary rule, passed in 1961 by the U.S. Supreme Court, is a legal principle that prohibits using any evidence in court that was obtained through illegal search and seizure. This law is applicable to all federal as well as state rulings. In New York State, investigators and police officers should have a warrant by a court judge in order to conduct a search and they are required to swear under oath to conduct all search and seizures as outlined by the law. The exclusionary rule prohibits any evidence that was obtained without a search warrant even if the evidence convicts the defendant in the crime.

Additional protection

Fourth Amendment

                     Exclusionary rule and evidences

Even though the Fourth Amendment laws provide sufficient protection against unreasonable search and seizure for all citizens of U.S., in certain types of crimes, individual States are allowed to provide extra protection measures in their bill of rights. This way, the citizens are protected from unreasonable interception of telegraph and telephone communications.

These are some aspects regarding the search and  seizure laws in New York. While fighting cases against illegal search and seizure, it is important that you understand what is the exclusionary rule and how it may be applicable in your case. For more details on this rule, check online legal resources or consult a lawyer who has experience dealing with similar cases.

How Effective Is the Enforcement Of The Fourth Amendment – The Exclusionary Rule?

What is the exclusionary rule

                Why exclusionary rule is important

Just dig a little into history and you would find that the Fourth Amendment (in whatever form it was then) had not been appreciated much for a very long time. It is quite interesting to note that evidences gathered by federal agents in violation of the same were considered admissible during those days. This meant that an investigating officer could really knock down the door and seize evidence breaking ones’ right to privacy in the process! Thank goodness for the exclusionary principle!

What is the exclusionary rule?

The main purpose of the exclusionary rule was to deter the police and federal agents from misconduct and abuse of power. With the introduction of this rule, it became possible for defendants to challenge the admissibility of evidence that were brought against them by the prosecution. The main objective of the exclusionary rule is to protect people’s right to be free from unauthorized seizures and unreasonable searches.

Enforcing the exclusionary rule

If the court finds that the investigating officer or the federal agent has committed an offense by including illegitimate evidence, or collecting evidences to cook up a case against a person, then the court has the power to initiate punitive actions against them. They will be subjected to prosecution and can be punished if found guilty.

However, rather than taking the case as a major offense, they are often handled as internal issues of the department. In addition to this, investigating officers who are found of violating a person’s Fourth Amendment rights could be sued for damages by the accused.

Fourth amendment

          Enforcing the exclusionary rule

In the absence of the exclusionary rule, investigating agencies could turn the case against a person through illegally obtained evidence, many of which may be circumstantial. If the defendant does not argue that the evidence was not obtained illegally, chances are that the court may overlook the point and proceed with the prosecution anyway. However, these charges could also be dropped if the defendant discovers this piece of information at a later stage. This means that a convicted person who may be serving time could receive a pardon and cut short his sentence if the court is convinced that the evidence was obtained without legal basis.

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