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Was that search illegal? Here is what it means for your case

On Behalf of | Sep 7, 2022 | Criminal Defense

You probably know that the constitution protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures by law enforcement. The police cannot search you, your vehicle or your premises without following the law. 

However, there are cases when a search is against the law and a violation of your constitutional rights. It is not business as usual when this happens. An illegal search could significantly affect the direction of your case, depending on the evidence obtained.

The court may suppress such evidence

Courts do not take violations of anyone’s constitutional rights lightly. If the police obtain evidence from an illegal search, you may petition the court to suppress it. When evidence is suppressed, the court will exclude it from your case and will not be used to arrive at a verdict.

Suppression of key evidence could leave the prosecution with a weak case, and it could result in a positive outcome for you. The prosecution could be left without enough evidence to make their case beyond a reasonable doubt.

How do you know if the search was illegal?

Sometimes, there is a very thin line between legal and illegal searches. It may not be easy to prove without understanding the legal nuances involved. Things can get pretty confusing. 

For instance, even with a search warrant, the police cannot search beyond its scope, although with some exceptions. If they do, it could be against the law. Other searches may seem illegal, yet the police had enough probable cause to execute them.

Knowing the steps to take in your defense can help you successfully suppress such evidence, which could tilt the odds in your favor.