The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola


47 DuPage Court, Elgin, IL 60120

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Posted on in Search Warrant

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.




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Posted on in Criminal Defense

police search warrant in Illinois, Elgin criminal defense lawyerThe U.S. Constitution provides people with a variety of rights and protections with relation to law enforcement and the criminal justice system. One of the most important of these rights is the protection from unlawful searches provided by the Fourth Amendment. Usually, what separates a lawful search from an unlawful one is whether the police had a warrant to perform the search. Whether a search is performed with a valid warrant can make all the difference in the outcome of a criminal case because of a legal doctrine known as the "exclusionary rule."

The exclusionary rule is a rule of evidence that governs whether the prosecutor is allowed to use evidence during a trial. Its name comes from the fact that it excludes any evidence that was recovered during an unlawful search. It also excludes from the trial any evidence that the police found because of evidence they uncovered during an illegal search. This rule is designed to discourage police from performing these sorts of searches because anything they discover will be useless to the prosecution at trial.

The Warrant Process

The warrant process is important because if it is not followed correctly then it can trigger the exclusionary rule. Warrants are legal documents issued by judges that give the police permission to search. This means that the police officers must speak to the judge and present that judge with evidence they already have about the crime. Their goal in doing this is to convince the judge that they have probable cause to believe that the search they want to perform will result in their finding the evidence of a crime. If they convince the judge of this, then the judge will issue a warrant. This warrant will give the police the right to perform a specific search, usually only looking for specific items at a specific location.

Reasons Warrants May Be Invalidated

Warrants can be invalidated through a variety of different issues, usually either because of problems with the process of how it was issued or of how the search was performed. Common issues with the process relate to the type of information that the police were giving the judge. For instance, if the police provide the judge with old information, then the warrant might be invalid since it would not relate to the likelihood that the search would actually turn up evidence of a crime. Conversely, an issue of execution would be exceeding the scope of the search warrant. If the police have a warrant to search for a large item, like a stolen flat screen TV, then opening drawers and finding drugs would exceed the warrant's scope.

If you have been charged with a crime after what you believe was an unlawful search, contact a Kane County criminal defense attorney today to learn more about your rights.

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