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What Is Considered Unlawful Search & Seizure?

What Is Considered Unlawful Search & Seizure?

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects all U.S. citizens from unlawful search and seizure. Whenever a law enforcement officer does engage in search and seizure, they must be following proper rules procedures.

Officers are considered to have “searched” in an investigation if the person who was home or whose property was being investigated expected a degree of privacy and if that expectation was reasonable. For example, if the officer saw drug paraphernalia through a person’s car window and made an arrest based on that observation, the person who owned the car shouldn’t have expected any degree of privacy in this situation.

Property in your house your property is generally considered to be private. If the police have to enter onto your property to get to evidence they wish to use in court, they need a search warrant, which is issued by a judge. However, in some situations, they won’t need a warrant at all. For example, if they suspect you are destroying evidence, they can take prompt action to seize the evidence and prevent you from damaging it. Likewise, if you give your consent for them to come inside to search for evidence, they can take any evidence they find legally.

The only time an officer performs an illegal search and seizure is if they search your property without a warrant, when you have a reasonable expectation of privacy, in a non-emergency situation, and if you haven’t yet been arrested. Likewise, a landlord or roommate can’t give the police permission to search your property or your belongings, only you can.

If you think law enforcement officers have performed an unlawful search and seizure on your property, give us a call. Our skilled New York City criminal defense lawyers can help. We have more than 100 years of combined legal experience to offer your case, and we can provide you with aggressive representation in negotiations and in court. Let Musa-Obregon Law PC take a look at your situation and offer you experienced legal advice on your best course of action.

Contact us at (888) 502-8461 or fill out our online form to schedule your FREE case evaluation today.

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