HOW TO MAKE A SUCCESSFUL CHALLENGE TO ILLEGAL SEARCH AND SEIZURE
The United States Constitution protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures. But, many people do not understand these rights.
Sometimes, police officers have a legitimate reason as to why they want to search your car or your property. In these cases, there are proper procedures that they must follow to obtain a search warrant.
Other times, they don’t have a valid warrant or they might take certain liberties with the current situation. Sometimes they will attempt to gain access illegally by playing on your lack of knowledge about your rights.
Don’t let authorities violate your constitutional rights. If this happens to you, it’s important to fight back with the help of a Long Beach criminal defense attorney. Let your attorney challenge the illegal search and seizure and ensure that the evidence collected during the search is not used against you in court.
YOUR RIGHTS UNDER THE CONSTITUTION
The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures. It’s important to understand your rights under this amendment so you can protect them when dealing with law enforcement.
In most cases, authorities cannot conduct a search of your property without a valid search warrant. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.
Police officers will not need to obtain a search warrant if you consent to a search of your property. For this reason, it is important to never consent to a search.
If you have been arrested, authorities can conduct a search of your person and the area within your reach. This search can be performed without a warrant. This is allowed because it gives authorities the chance to search for weapons or other items that could put them in danger.
There is also a “plain view exception” to the search warrant requirement. If evidence is in plain view, an officer can seize it without a warrant.
There is also an automobile exception, which gives authorities the right to conduct a warrantless search of a vehicle under certain circumstances. Finally, there is the emergency exception, which allows police to conduct warrantless searches when it would be dangerous to hold off on a search in order to apply for a search warrant.
Your Long Beach criminal defense lawyer will know how to challenge a search that violated your constitutional rights. Fighting back against illegal searches is not easy, which is why hiring a defense attorney is strongly recommended.
OBTAINING A WARRANT
In most cases, police officers must obtain a search warrant from a judge before conducting a search. To obtain this warrant, the officer must prove that there is probable cause to justify the search. For example, the officer may show that there is probable cause that a crime has occurred or is about to occur, and that evidence of that crime can be found at a specific location. If an officer can prove probable cause, the judge will most likely issue a search warrant.
Authorities can seize evidence during a search. This may include evidence of a crime, such as controlled substances, stolen goods, or weapons. The evidence that is gathered during a search can be used by the state to bring criminal charges against you and convict you of a crime.
WHAT IS AN INVALID SEARCH WARRANT?
No police officer is perfect. They may obtain a valid search warrant, but they use it in such a way that it invalidates or goes beyond the scope of the search warrant itself. They may even lie about having a search warrant in order to conduct a search, which is a violation of your rights. Sometimes they assume you won’t know your rights, and they use this lack of knowledge to their advantage.
This is certainly challengeable in court. You should never allow your rights to be trampled upon. In this case, your criminal defense lawyer would fight to have any evidence that was illegally searched and seized from your property dismissed. Dismissing this evidence could significantly weaken the prosecution’s case, which may lead to the dismissal of your charges.
WHAT IS A VALID SEARCH WARRANT?
A search warrant is valid if it meets four conditions. First, it must be filed by an officer in good faith, meaning that they have a legitimate concern or reasonable suspicion of illegal activity.
Second, the warrant must have been filed based on reliable information that gave the officer probable cause to conduct a search. Third, the warrant must be reviewed and approved by a third-party judge. Lastly, the search warrant must outline what property is allowed to be searched and what items are allowed to be seized. A warrant is not valid if it does not meet these four conditions.
If you believe your rights have been violated, it’s important to immediately hire a criminal defense attorney. Evidence gathered during an illegal search and seizure is not admissible, which means it cannot be used against you in court.