In an earlier post we introduced the subject of how the concept of due process interacts with the criminal justice system. Although not all of the amendments that comprise the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution are related to procedural due process, the 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th Amendments are directly connected to it. We will briefly cover each of these amendments going forward, starting with the 4th Amendment.
The 4th Amendment safeguards against unreasonable searches and seizures of persons and property, and except for situations that courts have carved out as exceptions (see below) requires the use of search and arrest warrants based on probable cause. Evidence gathered by the police in violation of the 4th Amendment cannot be used against you; courts have referred to this exclusion as the "fruit of the poisonous tree" rule.