Unlawful Search and Seizures

What Constitutes Unlawful Search and Seizure?

An Johnson County Criminal Defense Lawyer Explains Your Rights

The United States Constitution has put in place rights that are protected under any circumstances. Many of these rights have to do with a person who is suspected off or being tried for criminal activity.

The Fourth Amendment protects individuals in the United States from what is referred to as "unreasonable search and seizure." A gray area has formed around these regulations, as it can be difficult to define what is "unlawful" or "unreasonable" police conduct.

Worried the police conducted an unlawful search and seizure of your property? Did it lead to your arrest? Take action now by contacting Martin & Wallentine, LLC!

Defining Unlawful Search and Seizure

The fundamental principle behind the Fourth Amendment is that all persons are presumed to have a reasonable expectation of privacy, even when law enforcement suspects they are involved with criminal activity.

While there are some exceptions, the police may only conduct a search of private property if the police have probable cause to believe that the property contains evidence that may implicate the suspect. In this case, the court would issue a warrant for a search, which would legally permit law enforcement to search the suspect's private property without regard for any privacy expectations

There are also several exceptions to this expectation of privacy rule. Police may conduct searches without an issued warrant if circumstances are such that they permit searches without a warrant.

Circumstances in Which Searches May Be Conducted Without a Warrant:

  • Evidence that is in plain view
  • Searching someone for weapons upon arrest
  • Evidence is in immediate jeopardy
  • Public safety could be at risk

In the moment, it is difficult to judge whether the officer is conducting an unlawful search. In most cases, it is better to allow them to conduct the search and contest the evidence later than to physically interfere with the police officer's activity.

What Happens if a Court Deems a Search Was Unlawful?

If a court finds that evidence was obtained from an unlawful search, that evidence will be excluded from the case due to the exclusionary rule. Furthermore, any information obtained because of that excluded evidence will also be thrown out of the case as "fruit of the poisonous tree."

Have Your Rights Been Violated? Seek Legal Recourse!

If you were arrested and you believe that the police officer conducted an unlawful search, you should contact an Johnson County criminal defense attorney from Martin & Wallentine, LLC immediately. Our team can ensure that the court acts in accordance with the case law protecting your rights under the Fourth Amendment.

We believe in the rights granted in the Constitution, especially as they apply to those suspected of criminal activity and will remain dedicated to defending those rights, no matter what charge you are facing.

Let a Johnson County criminal defense lawyer from our firm be your legal advocate as you fight the charges against you. Schedule your case evaluation today. 

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