4th Amendment Cheat Sheet!

Cat peering out through a crack in the door, apparently saying “Come back with a warrant.” If this cat were my client I would advise them not to give law enforcement any ideas about coming back.

Here is a resource that is useful for all of us, especially those of us who are targeted by any of the alphabet soup of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution protects all people (not just citizens!) from unreasonable intrusions into their homes, bodies, and stuff. That means that law enforcement is allowed to *reasonably* intrude into your life. (The more you learn about law, the more you may begin to see the word “reasonably” as dangerously powerful.) Cold comfort, I know, but, there are important ways to invoke your 4th amendment rights.

The important thing to know is that, to a degree, law enforcement standing on your doorstep are like vampires: they have to be invited in. They can be invited in by a warrant signed by a magistrate or judge. But without a warrant, they have to be invited in by you. They can also be invited in by anyone who is in your home. Unfortunately, when there are armed people banging on your door, remembering the ways to avoid inviting them is probably the farthest thing from your mind, and a house guest might need an extra special reminder.

So I made a helpful reminder  of the things to say and the information to get if law enforcement visits you. Hang it on the back of your door for easy reference. Remember, even if you ask all the right questions, and don’t consent to the police coming in, they might come in anyway.

This convenient sign is intended to help you remember ways to stay safe. Cut and paste or right click to download the image. Do not fill in the blanks if you do not already have an attorney-client relationship. If you are visited, but don’t have an attorney, just get as much information as you can from the law enforcement agents, and shop around for an attorney afterward.

Stay safe, friends!MAGIC SPELL



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