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An illegal search and seizure could affect your criminal case

On Behalf of | May 15, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

If the police illegally search you or your property, it could have an impact on your criminal case. An unlawful search is against your Fourth Amendment rights that protect you from unreasonable searches by law enforcement.

For a search and seizure to be legal, the police must have a valid search warrant or probable cause, although there are some exceptions. Otherwise, it is an unlawful search, which can have far-reaching consequences on your criminal proceedings. Here is how an illegal search and seizure can impact your case.

The evidence obtained may be inadmissible in court

Unlawfully obtained evidence is not admissible in court. In other words, the court may exclude the evidence from your criminal proceedings. This follows a successful motion to suppress by the defense. The prosecution cannot use the excluded evidence to prove your guilt during trial, which could significantly weaken the case against you.

Let’s say the police conduct an illegal search of your home and find illegal drugs in your possession. In such a case, the actual drugs found may be deemed inadmissible evidence in court since the search violates your constitutional rights. 

Without the drugs as evidence, the prosecution’s case against you for drug possession may be weakened.  It’s worth noting that the rules regarding the admissibility of evidence are not absolute. There are legal departures where evidence may still be admissible. 

Given the impact an illegal search could have on your case, seeking early legal guidance is crucial. It could be an unlawful traffic stop or a search of your person or property. An informed evaluation of the circumstances of the search and seizure can help determine the best course of action to protect your rights and interests.