During one recent case, the Fourth Amendment’s definition was taken into serious consideration by the courts. The Fourth Amendment prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures from occurring in Texas and around the country. The case brought to light an issue that many did not know existed regarding when a person is actually “seized” by a police officer.
The facts surrounding the case
In the early morning hours of July 14, 2014, New Mexico state police arrived at an apartment complex in Albuquerque. They noticed a Toyota FJ Cruiser parked with its engine on and decided to approach it. At that moment, the female driver began to pull out and thus escape from the officers. The officers began to shoot at the vehicle, striking the driver in the abdomen. She was later arrested at the hospital where her injuries were being attended to. According to the driver, she believed the officers were car thieves and thus drove away to save her life. This led to her filing a lawsuit against the officers claiming that her Fourth Amendment right was violated as this was an unreasonable “seizure.”
The district court where the court case was handled ruled in favor of the two police officers. The summary judgment stated that the shooting done by the two officers was not defined as a seizure. Although the 10th circuit of appeals agreed with the ruling, the case is now being looked over by the United States Supreme Court.
The U.S. Constitution is a document that can be interpreted in many ways, but it does offer certain rights to those accused of criminal actions. In the event that you believe your rights have been violated, it may be helpful to seek legal advice from a criminal law attorney as soon as possible.