Find the right lawyer now

Patriot Act Lawyers

Find a Local Government Lawyer near You

What Is the Patiot Act and What Exactly Does It Do?

In the name of national security, the Patriot Act was passed to further the "war on terrorism." In a general sense, it gives the Executive Branch broad powers to investigate possible criminal activity. More specifically it does the following:

  • Expanded protections against domestic terrorism - Greater ability for policing authorities to wiretap, survey, harass, and keep track of political advocacy groups
  • Expanded access to "secret information" - Greater ability for police authorities to conduct secret searches, maintain phone and Internet surveillance, and view medical, financial, mental health, and student records with minimal judicial oversight
  • "Intelligence purpose investigations" - Gives high level police authorities the ability to investigate criminal matters without probable cause, if investigation is for "intelligence purposes"
  • Detention or non-admittance of terrorism suspects - Gives police authorities the ability to detain or jail suspected terrorists or terrorist associates entering into or already present in the US for up to six months without judicial review

What Rights Are Threatened by the Patriot Act?

A plethora of constitutional rights are arguably being affected by the Patriot Act and more and more advocacy groups are protesting the Act every day. The following rights are presently affected by the Patriot Act:

  • First Amendment Rights: Freedoms of religion, speech, assembly, and the press
  • Fourth Amendment Rights: Freedom from unreasonable searches and seizure
  • Fifth Amendment Rights: Freedoms of life, liberty, and due process of law
  • Sixth Amendment Rights: Rights of speedy public trial, unbiased jury, assistance of counsel, confrontation of witnesses, and to be informed of the accusations against you
  • Eighth Amendment Rights: Rights against excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishment
  • Fourteenth Amendment Rights: Right of due process and equal protection under the law

Should I Consult a Lawyer?

The Patriot Act is a challenging and highly debated new area of the law in the United States. A good constitutional lawyer can determine whether your rights have been violated by authorities using the Patriot Act as a pretense for your detention and/or imprisonment.

Photo of page author Matthew Izzi

, LegalMatch Legal Writer and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 04-08-2014 04:49 PM PDT

Law Library Disclaimer
  • No fee to present your case
  • Choose from lawyers in your area
  • A 100% confidential service
What is LegalMatch?

We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.