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Supreme Court ruling leaves many with fewer rights

Criminal defense lawyers know that it isn't crazy for someone on the streets to not know that there is a warrant out for their arrest. Do you know for sure that the authorities don't have a warrant out on you?

It doesn't take a violent crime to lead to an arrest warrant. Something as simple and common as a traffic violation or parking ticket could lead to the existence of a warrant. The commonness of outstanding warrants is important to note, as it makes a recent Supreme Court decision quite controversial.

On Monday, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled contrary to an out-of-state case involving someone's right against search and seizure. A man was stopped by police and searched even though they had no immediate cause to search him. A lower court ruled the stop and search was unconstitutional. 

In what some critics and the dissenting justices see as a dangerous ruling, the Supreme Court decided that the search in the above case was okay. The reason the court approved the authorities' actions is because there was an outstanding warrant against the suspect. 

It doesn't matter if the warrant was possibly related to the criminal investigation at-hand. The main message the court sends with its decision is that any outstanding warrant supports the police's right to stop and search someone. The decision supports a state's right to use evidence obtained against someone based on a search stemming from something as minor as an unpaid traffic ticket. 

If this sounds threatening to you, it might be. It is a threat to the possibly millions of men and women throughout the country who have, for example, unpaid parking tickets. 

If you know about an outstanding warrant, a criminal defense attorney might be able to help you with warrant removal. If you are arrested and charged with a crime due to a stop that you believe was unconstitutional, talk to a defense lawyer about your rights -- or because of this recent ruling -- your lack of rights. 

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