What Constitutes an Illegal Search and Seizure?
Most people have only a cursory knowledge of their constitutional rights and are therefore unsure when they have been violated. The Fourth Amendment protects Americans from illegal searches and seizures by law enforcement, and any evidence gathered during an illegal search may not be admissible in court.
If you have been charged with a crime but you think the police violated your rights, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group. Our criminal defense lawyers can investigate your arrest to determine if the evidence against you was gathered during an illegal search. Call 716-855-3761 to schedule a free case evaluation with a criminal defense attorney in New York.
Read on to learn what constitutes an illegal search and seizure:
Did Police Have a Search Warrant?
Law enforcement need a search warrant, probable cause, or your consent to conduct a lawful search. Even if you did not give permission to the police to search your property, that might not matter if they had a warrant, which is an order that has been signed by a judge and grants police the right to look for certain items at a specific location.
If police did not have a warrant, they can still search your home or vehicle if you consent. If they attempt to do either without getting your consent or presenting a warrant, they may be violating your Fourth Amendment rights—unless they had probable cause to perform the search.
Did Police Have Probable Cause?
If police do not have a search warrant or your consent to perform the search but they have reason to believe you are breaking the law, they may be able to conduct a legal search and seizure. If officers pull you over for speeding, for example, and they can clearly see drug paraphernalia in the passenger seat next to you, they may have probable cause to search the rest of your vehicle.
The bottom line: If the police searched your property when you had a reasonable expectation of privacy, they did not have a warrant or probable cause, you did not provide consent, you had not yet been arrested, and it was a non-emergency situation, then any evidence gathered during the search might not be admissible in court. In some situations, getting this evidence thrown out is enough to result in the dismissal of all charges.
Call 716-855-3761 to Speak with a Criminal Defense Lawyer in New York
If you are facing charges and you believe the police conducted an illegal search and seizure, turn to LoTempio P.C. Law Group to discuss your case. Our New York criminal defense attorneys have represented thousands of clients, giving us a skillset and courtroom experience that few law firms possess.
Whether you have been charged with drug possession, DWI, or a violent crime, you can rely on our legal team for personalized and attentive representation every step of the way. Call 716-855-3761 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation.