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When is the 4th Amendment Applied? – Thermal Imaging Device

The current blog posts have been related to the 4th Amendment and its applicability. The 4th Amendment protects US citizens from unlawful searches and seizures. There are 10 categories identified as applicability for invoking 4th Amendment rights. The third category of standing – applicability of your 4th Amendment rights – is related to thermal imaging devices.

Thermal imaging devices cannot be used to search a home without an ordered search warrant. This was decided based on the findings from Kyllo v. State (2001) when a thermal imaging device was used to find heat signatures in a home far beyond the body heat of a human or heat from home lights. This intense heat signature was thought to be coming from heat lamps being used to grow marijuana plants. The courts argued devices not available to the general public cannot be used without a provided search warrant. Thus, any search conducted using thermal imaging devices without a search warrant is considered unlawful and any evidence found during said search is considered inadmissible in court based on the above standing – thermal imaging devices are not readily available to the public and a search using thermal imaging devices require a search warrant.

St. Louis, Missouri, Search & Seizure Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been product of an unlawful search and seizure or have questions regarding what stands for a reasonable search and seizure, our attorneys can help. Call Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C. to schedule a free consultation 24/7.