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5 Examples of Illegal Search and Seizure in Illinois

Posted on in Search Warrant

Elgin IL criminal defense attorneyIf the police find evidence of illegal drugs on your person or property, you may be at high risk of a conviction on drug charges. However, if that evidence was obtained through an illegal search and seizure, your attorney can help you stand up for your rights and fight for that evidence to be excluded, which may help you avoid a sentence. There are several ways in which a search and seizure can be unlawful, and your lawyer will help you determine if any of them is a factor in your case.

How the Fourth Amendment Addresses Illegal Search and Seizure

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that “the people have a right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” According to the Fourth Amendment, for a search and seizure to be legal, the officers must either have your permission to search your home, your vehicle, your person, or your other property, or they must have a judge-approved warrant to search those same places. 

In Illinois, however, there are a couple of exceptions to the warrant requirement:

  • Probable cause accompanied by exigent circumstances—The police may not need a warrant for a search if it is “accompanied by exigent circumstances,” meaning there is not enough time to get a warrant before either evidence gets destroyed or the safety of people is put in jeopardy.

  • Search incident to arrest—An arresting officer is permitted to search the immediate area surrounding the person being arrested without a warrant, especially if that area might contain evidence that could be destroyed or weapons that could be used to create a dangerous situation.

How Illegal Search and Seizure Can Help Your Defense

If the arresting officers obtain the evidence of your drug possession illegally, you can make the case to dismiss it from the proceedings. Circumstances leading to an illegal search and seizure include: 

  1. No Permission Given and No Warrant—In many cases, a search without your permission and without a warrant will be considered illegal, which would mean any evidence collected could be suppressed from the trial.

  2. No Warrant and No Exceptions Met—Without a warrant, and without meeting the aforementioned exceptions in Illinois, it can also be argued that the search and seizure was illegal.

  3. No Probable Cause—Obtaining a warrant requires the officer to demonstrate probable cause to suspect they will find evidence of a crime. If your attorney can argue that the police had no legitimate reason to suspect you or search you, then the search might have been illegal.

  4. Flawed Warrant—Not all warrants are created equal. Some warrants miss critical information and lack specific details, rendering them unusable and unlawful.

  5. Overstepping Warrant Grounds—Warrants generally must specify the type of evidence sought, and if an officer tries to expand the search beyond the scope of the warrant, some evidence could be considered illegally obtained..

Contact an Elgin, IL Drug Charge Defense Attorney

Illegal search and seizure is a violation of your constitutional rights, and a skilled Aurora, IL criminal defense lawyer can help you ensure that it is not used against you in a criminal trial. Reach out to the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola at 847-488-0889 for a free consultation with an attorney who will protect your rights.

 

Sources:

https://www2.illinois.gov/osad/Publications/DigestbyChapter/CH%2043%20Search%20and%20Seizure.pdf

https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/interpretation/amendment-iv/interps/121

https://www.moneycrashers.com/legal-myths-criminal-law-arrested/

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