Unlawful Search and Seizure in Solano County
Defense from Our Vallejo, Ca Criminal Attorneys
In light of granting law enforcement and authorities the ability to act in the best interest and safety of society, the founders of this nation sought a way to encourage a country full of law abiding citizens while still protecting individual rights to privacy and property. One of these rights is protected specifically by the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, which states that an individual cannot be made subject to an unlawful search of their person or their property without a legal warrant.
The purpose of this limitation placed on law enforcement is to preserve the integrity of the justice system by requiring investigators to gather evidence enough to warrant the invasion of one's privacy. The Fourth Amendment does not rule out all searches and seizures, it simply limits the freedom of police officers to conducting those which are reasonable. This means that there may be situations in which it is "reasonable" for the police to override your rights to privacy concerning your private property. There are generally two scenarios that qualify as "reasonable" in the eyes of the law concerning searches and seizures.
Police officers may conduct a search of a person's property without their consent if:
- The court issues a warrant after the police demonstrate probable cause to suspect the individual of criminal activity.
- Circumstances are such that they justify a search with a warrant, usually because the police are concerned for public safety in the face of an eminent threat.
Basics of the Crime
One common misconception about unlawful searches and seizures is that a person's charges may be dropped if the police conducted an unwarranted search. However, the right to a lawful search does not trump the law enforcement's duty to enforce the state and national criminal laws. It simply seeks to create a balance between the need for criminal justice and the desire for fair procedures. An unlawful search and seizure does not justify a criminal action.
The only thing that may be possible if the police are found to have acted outside of the bounds of the law is that the evidence they gathered from that search be excluded from the prosecutors' case against the defendant. This would mean that any information or support that is found in that search, no matter how much it implicates the defendant, would be thrown out. Furthermore, this exclusion would apply to any evidence that is gathered through the information obtained in the unlawful search. This is known as the "fruit of the poisonous tree" doctrine.
Defense Lawyers Fight Illegal Search and Seizures in California
By reviewing your case, conducting an independent investigation, reviewing police reports and working with experts in the field, an experienced criminal defense lawyer can determine whether an unlawful search and seizure may have occurred. If it did occur, your lawyer will then need to prove this.
Proving an unlawful search and seizure may mean that key evidence is excluded from your case, and this can lead to an acquittal or even dropped charges in some cases.
Whether you are facing charges of any of the following, the Vallejo criminal defense attorneys at our firm can help:
Contact our Solano County criminal defense lawyers at Maas and Russo today if you believe that you were the victim of an unlawful search and seizure.