Illegal Search and Seizure: Know Your Rights

Illegal Search and Seizure: Know Your Rights

30 Years of Criminal Defense Experience in Media, Pennsylvania

State and federal law enforcement officials and courts have great power to incarcerate and otherwise impose legal penalties following a conviction for a crime. Fortunately, though, in the U.S., each of us enjoys numerous protections in regarding to arrests and criminal investigations. One important protection is the protection from illegal searches and seizures. Specifically, the U.S. Constitution states that:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause…and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

The wording of this constitutional protection means that police cannot pull over your car or search your person, car or home unless they can demonstrate a good reason for doing so (“probable cause”). If they conduct a search without probable cause, the evidence cannot be used against you.

Theoretical instances in which evidence obtained in an illegal search and seizure could not be used against you include:

  • Illegal drugs or a weapon identified on your car’s dashboard if you were pulled over without probable cause
  • Illegal drugs found on your person if you were out for a walk and a police officer searched you simply because he or she thought you looked “suspicious”
  • An incriminating breath or urine test following your being pulled over by a police officer when that officer had no particular reason for pulling you over

In each of these cases, your criminal defense attorney could question the means by which evidence against you was obtained. If the evidence was obtained via an illegal search and seizure, the evidence could not be used against you, no matter how convincing it was.

If you face criminal charges in Pennsylvania, contact the two-member criminal defense team of The Law Offices of John E. Kusturiss, Jr. Together, we have over 30 years of legal experience, and can quickly determine whether your constitutional rights have been violated. We can then use the information we obtain to work aggressively to have your charges dropped or reduced.

Our consultations are free, we accept credit cards and are available weekdays as well as weekends and evenings by appointment. To contact The Law Offices of John E. Kusturiss, Jr., call 610-565-0240.

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