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Kane County criminal defense attorneyThe Constitution of the United States protects citizens from unjustified searches and seizures by government entities. This right is typically exercised by individuals who feel that they have had an illegal search or confiscation of property by a police officer either in their home or in their vehicle. Without a warrant or strong probable cause, officers are not allowed to search your private property. If you were charged with a crime after an officer searched or invaded your property without reason, a skilled defense attorney might have a solid foundation to build your defense case. 

What is a Justifiable Search?

According to the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, officers and other government officials must have a valid reason to search your property for criminal misconduct. Most of the time, officers will obtain a search warrant, a legal document provided by the court that gives someone the right to search your property. Officers must give evidence of potential misconduct to the court. This may include word-of-mouth information, photographs, and videos, or witness testimony. A legal search warrant must consist of where the officer intends to search, what time the search will occur, and what types of items they are looking to seize during the investigation. With a search warrant, an officer is allowed to seize: 

  • Any objects or instruments used to commit a crime 
  • Evidence that the prosecution can use in a trial 
  • Things or items that were criminally possessed

Without a warrant, an officer cannot search your vehicle or home unless there is strong probable cause on the scene. 

I Was Charged With a Crime From an Illegal Search 

If you were charged with a crime after an officer illegally searched your home or vehicle, a defense attorney could help you build a case to defend yourself. If an officer did not have a warrant or probable cause in your situation, the evidence found during the search may be censored and removed from your case. Some common examples of illegal searches and seizures being used to defend charges include:

  • An officer located drugs in your vehicle without a proper search warrant 
  • An officer lacked probable cause and searched your body due to racial profiling 
  • Police found illegal substances or objects in your yard or garage without having a warrant to search your home 

It can be intimidating to stand up to an officer and refuse a search of your private property. However, if the officer does not have a warrant and there is no probable cause of criminal behavior in your situation, refusing a search is considered your right. 

Contact an Aurora Illegal Search and Seizure Lawyer 

At The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola, our Kane County criminal defense attorney has experience helping defend clients charged with a crime after an illegal search by a police officer. Attorney Brian Mirandola may be able to help challenge the evidence in your case by presenting the officer’s lack of probable cause in your unique situation. Please reach out to us at 847-488-0889 for a free consultation. 

 

Source:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072500050HArt%2E+108&ActID=1966&ChapterID=54&SeqStart=11400000&SeqEnd=13000000 

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Kane County Search and Seizure Law AttorneyAs an American, we have certain rights that are protected by the Constitution. Among these crucial rights is the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures of personal property. In other words, government officials, including police, must have a valid reason to search an individual’s property. However, what qualifies as an “unreasonable search” is not always easy to ascertain.

When Can Police Search My Home?

Police officers are limited in their ability to search a person’s house, apartment, mobile home, or other residence. Most of the time, police officers must get a search warrant before they can search a home. A search warrant will list the parameters of the search including the areas police are allowed to search and how long they have to complete the search.

There are exemptions to the search warrant requirement. Police may enter a person’s home and search for illegal materials or evidence of a crime without a search warrant under the following circumstances:

  • Permission – You have a right to refuse a police search of your home. If you or another resident gives police permission to search the premises, they do not need a search warrant.

  • Imminent danger or exigent circumstances– Police may also search a home if there is probable cause to believe that someone in the home is in danger, evidence of a crime is actively being destroyed, or a criminal suspect is trying to escape.

  • Illicit items in plain view – Police have the authority to seize illegal materials that are in plain view. For example, if you open the door for police and they can see drugs inside the home, they may seize the drugs and use them as evidence in future legal proceedings.

When Can Police Search My Car?

Motor vehicles fall under the “automobile exemption” when it comes to searches and seizures. This means that officers do not usually need a search warrant to search a vehicle. Police can search your car if you consent to the search, are arrested during a traffic stop, or if illegal items are in plain view from outside the vehicle. They may also search any vehicle that is impounded.

When Can Police Search Me?

Drugs, drug paraphernalia, firearms, and other evidence of criminal activity is often discovered on an individual. Police can search a person and their clothing if that person is being arrested. For example, if you are stopped for reckless driving, police may pat you down or empty your pockets. Officers may also search an individual if they suspect that the individual is hiding a weapon in their clothes or on their body.

Contact an Elgin Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one were charged with a criminal offense in connection with a police search, contact the The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola for help. If evidence was obtained by police during an illegal search and seizure, the evidence may be suppressed during criminal proceedings. Call our skilled Kane County criminal defense lawyers at 847-488-0889 today for a free, confidential case assessment.

 

Source: 

https://www.constituteproject.org/constitution/United_States_of_America_1992

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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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b2ap3_thumbnail_warrant.jpgIllinois police will be authorized to perform a search and seizure for a number of different crimes, including suspicion of drug possession and/or sale. However, there are rules that officers must follow in order to legally perform their duties.

Officers are not permitted to simply enter a private home without a warrant for the search and seizure. The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects a person in their own home from unreasonable searches.

What Is an Illegal Search and Seizure?

The Fourth Amendment says that a person is safe in the privacy of their home, documents, and effects from seizure and that no warrants will be issued unless there is probable cause for the search. This differs from the early days of the amendment when “general warrants” were issued and homes could be searched with no evidence at all.

Now, if the authorities have enough evidence to warrant a reasonable search, they are allowed to do so with the proper documentation.

A search becomes illegal if:

  • The properly documented warrant is not gathered and given to the homeowner prior to the search.
  • The police search personal areas of an apartment with only permission from a landlord or roommates. Legally, the police can search common areas of an apartment with only the landlord’s permission, but they cannot search bedrooms.
  • The police have no probable cause for entering the home or property.

What Can You Do to Defend After an Illegal Seizure?

The first thing to do after an illegal search and seizure is to hire a lawyer to build a case against the law enforcement officers who conducted the search. The victim of the search cannot sue the officers involved because of the “qualified immunity” doctrine which protects government officials while they perform their duties.

A victim can utilize the exclusionary rule which would prevent the government from using evidence obtained in illegal search and seizures. This strategy can protect the victim from criminal charges that would not have been discovered without an illegal search.

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or someone you know is a victim of an illegal search and seizure and are now facing criminal charges, as a result, hire a lawyer from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola to defend your Fourth Amendment rights. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County search and seizure lawyer, call 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/amendments/amendment-iv

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/exclusionary_rule

 

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drugs, Kane County drug crimes attorneyAs per the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, police cannot search a person’s private residence without a search warrant issued by a judge. So, if police believe you have illegal items in your home, that suspicion alone is usually not enough to merit a legal search. However, the laws which protect citizens’ privacy are quite different when it comes to motor vehicles. Because we operate vehicles on public roads, police have much more freedom when it comes to searching a person’s car or truck. If police have searched your vehicle and discovered marijuana, amphetamines, opioids, or other illegal drugs, you may be facing harsh criminal consequences.

When Can Police Legally Search a Vehicle?

Although police have more authority to search motor vehicles than homes, they are still required to follow certain rules regarding vehicle searches. An officer cannot stop and search a vehicle without a reasonable cause for doing so.

There are five main ways a police officer is authorized to search someone’s vehicle. Firstly, if the driver of the vehicle gives the officer consent, the officer may search the vehicle. It is important to always politely decline police vehicle searches if given the chance. A search is also permitted If the officer has probable cause to believe evidence of criminal activity such as stolen items, drugs, or illegal weapons is in the car. Furthermore, police may search a car if they believe doing so is necessary for their own protection. For example, if police have stopped a vehicle but worry the drivers are armed and dangerous, they may be permitted to search the car for weapons. Police may also search a vehicle after a person is arrested. Lastly, police can search a vehicle if they have a search warrant.

Unwarranted Searches Can Result in Dropped Charges

If police searched your vehicle and discovered illegal drugs in it, make sure to discuss the legality of the search with a qualified criminal attorney. If it can be demonstrated that police did not have a valid reason to search the car, truck, motorcycle, or other vehicle, the evidence obtained from that search can be thrown out. If the evidence against you is dismissed, the criminal charges will most likely be dropped.

Do Not Face Drug Charges Alone

Illinois law says that those found transporting drugs in their car may face fines, probation, loss of driving privileges, and jail time. Possession of small amounts of marijuana has been decriminalized in Illinois, but possessing more than 10 grams of cannabis or having drugs like heroin, cocaine, morphine, amphetamine, and barbituric acid/salts can result in much more severe criminal penalties.

If you have been arrested on drug charges, speak to an experienced Kane County criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Call 847-488-0889 today to schedule your free initial consultation at The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=1941&ChapterID=53

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1937&ChapterID=53

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