Do Police Have the Right to Search Your Trash?

Many people feel like the government, law enforcement, and other entities are too invasion, especially when it comes to searches and seizures. No one likes the idea of their home or property being searched without their supervision or for the purpose of gaining evidence against them. But what about your trash? Do police have the right to search through your personal garbage?

What Does the Law Say About Tras?

When it comes to your rights, your property, and law enforcement officials, there is a fine line that can often seemingly be crossed. That is why it is crucial that you know your rights and know when to put your foot done. Our Tampa criminal defense lawyers see clients get in tough legal situations all because they were being too “nice” to police officers and allowing them to search their personal property or belongings rather than exercising their rights to protect their property.

So what does the law say about police searching through your trash?

Under the Fourth Amendment you are protected from having an unreasonable search and seizure if the officers do not have a warrant to do so. Essentially, this means that unless any officer of the law has probable cause to search your property—backed by a warrant—they don’t have a right to do so.

Another crucial fact to be aware of is that you have a right to protect your property within your home’s boundaries, even if you throw it away as trash. If the police desire to search your trash can, whether it is within your house or inside your garage, they must need probable cause and / or a warrant to do so.

What Happens If Police Search My Garbage Without a Warrant?

While law enforcement doesn’t necessarily always need a warrant to search and seize your property, they do need at least need proven probable cause. If it can be proven that they didn’t have a valid warrant or immediate probably cause, any evidence obtained from your trash or garbage could be deemed inadmissible in court and can’t be used against you, in other words.

A criminal lawyer can file a motion to suppress any evidence obtained unfairly by investigators from anywhere on your property or from your trash if the proper steps weren’t followed.

The sooner you act, the better. Start by talking with the Tampa criminal defense attorneys from Thomas & Paulk, P.A. today. We are skilled defense advocates who have taken on thousands of cases over the years. Trust your future to our dedicated team!