March 24, 2015

By Vannoy Law Firm



The Fourth Amendment to the Federal Constitution provides that "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person or things to be seized." 

The "exclusionary rule" is a protective legal doctrine which prohibits the State or Federal government from using illegally obtained evidence against a person at a later trial.  An example of this is drug evidence obtained as a result of an unconstitutional search or a confession obtained during an unconstitutional seizure or interrogation.  The "fruit of the poisonous tree" doctrine comes from the exclusionary rule itself.  The "poisonous tree" would be the search or seizure violation and the "fruit" would be the evidence later collected.  For example, if law enforcement unconstitutionally wiretaps a person's phone, then uses that information to later search a person's house, then finds contraband at the house, the contraband would be "tainted fruit" that could not be later used against the defendant at trial. 

Constitutional issues routinely arise in criminal cases.  Home, person, and vehicle searches are required to be "reasonable" under the Fourth Amendment.  On some occasions, police officers do not have to obtain a warrant or your consent to search your person or vehicle and in some cases, your home.  However these are limited circumstances.    

The exclusionary rule is a vital part of our constitutional law.  The roots of the rule, some may argue, harken back to the Old Testament…

  "Everyone will sit under their own vine
    and under their own fig tree,
and no one will make them afraid,
    for the Lord Almighty has spoken."  Micah 4:4

If you have been charged with a DUI, traffic ticket, criminal offense, or a probation violation, feel free to contact me to discuss your options.  I also handle driver's license issues, parole cases, and other matters.  At my office, you will receive a free interview in criminal cases.  If retained, I will go about protecting your initial court appearance, if possible, and begin investigating the case.  If you have questions about a criminal or DUI case or questions about this article, feel free to contact me at (843) 761-0610.  If you would like to read more about South Carolina's DUI and criminal laws, copy/paste this link into your search heading

If you have questions regarding a DUI or criminal case in Berkeley, Charleston, or Dorchester County, please contact my office today at (843) 761-0610 or through the contact page on this website.

Photo-3Brady Vannoy is a criminal defense lawyer in Berkeley County, South Carolina.  He carries a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating.  According to the rating system, "AV Preeminent(r) is a significant rating accomplishment – a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence."

Brady Vannoy is a member of The National Trial Lawyers, Top 100 Trial Lawyers in South Carolina.  You can find his profile at

Brady Vannoy's office is located in downtown Moncks Corner.  He regularly takes cases in Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties.  Brady is a member of the South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and The National Trial Lawyers, Top 100.  Brady defends DUI and all types of criminal cases in Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties along with other areas of the South Carolina low country.  He can be reached at (843) 761-0610,, or through the contact page on this website.

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