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May 5, 2023

Illegal Search and Seizure: What You Should Know

Illegal Search and Seizure: What You Should Know

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees citizens the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures by law enforcement. Unfortunately, there are times when law enforcement officers overstep their bounds and conduct illegal searches and seizures. In such cases, it is crucial to know the elements of search and seizure and how to defend against an illegal search and seizure in criminal court.

The elements of search and seizure are based on the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and are codified in the New York Penal Code. In order for a search or seizure to be legal, it must meet certain requirements. These requirements include:

Probable cause - Law enforcement officers must have probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed or is about to be committed in order to conduct a search or seizure.

Warrant - In most cases, law enforcement officers must obtain a warrant from a judge or magistrate before conducting a search or seizure. The warrant must be based on probable cause and must describe with particularity the place to be searched and the items to be seized.

Exceptions to the warrant requirement - There are certain exceptions to the warrant requirement. For example, if evidence is in plain view, law enforcement officers may seize it without a warrant. Similarly, if law enforcement officers have probable cause to believe that a crime is about to be committed, they may conduct a search or seizure without a warrant.

If a search or seizure is conducted without meeting these requirements, it may be considered an illegal search or seizure. In such cases, the evidence gathered may be inadmissible in court.

To defend against an illegal search and seizure in criminal court, we will often file a motion to suppress the evidence gathered as a result of the illegal search or seizure. The motion will argue that the search or seizure was conducted in violation of the Fourth Amendment and that the evidence gathered should be excluded from trial.

If the motion is successful, the evidence gathered as a result of the illegal search or seizure will be suppressed, and it may be difficult or impossible for the prosecution to make its case against the defendant. This can result in charges being reduced or dismissed altogether.

Defending against illegal search and seizure is crucial to protecting the constitutional rights of our clients. With a deep understanding of search and seizure laws, we can challenge the legality of the search or seizure and fight to have the evidence suppressed. Our goal is to ensure that our clients receive the justice they deserve and that their constitutional rights are respected." - Joseph Nohavicka, Esq.

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