The Fourth Amendment of The United States Constitution forbids police officers from conducting searches or seizures without a valid warrant or probable cause. However, what happens in Illinois if the police officer performs a search or seizure, neglecting your fourth amendment right, and finds incriminating evidence against you? How will the exclusionary rule apply?
What is the exclusionary rule?
The exclusionary rule prevents the court from using evidence gathered in violation of the Fourth Amendment. The law also applies when you refuse to answer questions that would incriminate you in criminal defense (The Fifth Amendment). In addition, the exclusionary rule protects your Sixth Amendment rights, which are the right to a lawyer, the right to know who your accusers are, and the nature of the chargers and evidence gathered against you.
What are the limitations of the exclusionary rule?
The court doesn’t apply the exclusionary rule automatically; instead, the defendant needs to file a motion to suppress such evidence. But, there are two limitations to this rule. First, the good-faith exception limitation states that newly discovered evidence would be admissible if the police officer had a valid warrant and correctly executed it.
Secondly, the second limitation holds that illegally obtained evidence would be admissible if the police officers get a valid warrant to search or seizure later on. The justice system argues that illegally discovered evidence may still be admissible in court if the police or the prosecutor obtained it differently.
When can you contact legal assistance?
As much as the constitution protects your fourth, fifth and sixth amendment rights, it might be best if you still had the assistance of an attorney to make sure that everything works well for you. The court doesn’t automatically apply the exclusionary law; you have to file a motion to suppress it. A lawyer might have more success with this than you would on your own.