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Fourth Amendment rights might be diluted in probation and parole

When you are stopped by police officers, you need to know your rights. There are several things to remember in these cases. One of the primary ones is that you have the right to remain silent. This is usually a good idea -- but you need to be clear when you take that step so that there are no ambiguities.

You can invoke your right to remain silent by simply saying that you are choosing to remain silent. The one bit of information that you might have to supply is your name. In some cases, the officer might also ask if you are on probation or parole. This might be a suitable question to answer.

One right that you lose if you are on probation or parole is being able to refuse to be searched. If you are a parolee or probationer, the police can conduct a search in your dwelling, vehicle, or items in your possession at will. Still, police officers aren't allowed to abuse their right to do this.

When you are on probation or parole, your Fourth Amendment rights aren't voided. Instead, they are diluted. Courts have viewed this in a variety of ways, so you should find out what the courts in your area lean toward.

Probation and parole are considered conditional liberty. This means that you do have to comply with certain laws or you risk being charged with a program violation, which is another criminal matter that you will have to defend. If you are in this position, be sure that you know your rights and what is going to happen. More than likely, you will face a judge in a bench trial. Your fate is decided solely by the judge.

Knowing your legal rights is only part of the battle. Make sure that you take advantage of all available legal resources in order to protect your future.

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