Legal Dictionary

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Exclusionary Rule

This is the name given to the principle that evidence obtained by the government in violation of a defendant's constitutional rights (e.g., search and seizure protections guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution) may not be used against a defendant. The exclusionary rule usually refers to suppression of physical evidence that has been seized by the police in violation of a defendant's Fourth Amendment right not to be subjected to an unreasonable search and seizure.