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Was an illegal search part of your conviction?

On Behalf of | Aug 30, 2021 | Federal Appeals

The United States Constitution affords individuals specific rights. One of these rights protects people from unreasonable search and seizure by law enforcement officers. The Fourth Amendment sets specific limits that police officers must follow when conducting searches of personal property. 

Typically, the police will need a search warrant that specifically spells out the information related to the search, including the location that they plan to search. There are some circumstances in which law enforcement can conduct a search without a warrant or move beyond the scope of a search warrant as well.

When do the police not need to secure a warrant?

Police officers don’t need a warrant if a person gives them permission to conduct the search. The consent must be voluntary and based on factual information, so they can’t trick you into consenting, though. Law enforcement officers generally can’t search beyond the limitations that you set. 

Law enforcement can seize evidence if it’s in plain sight, even if they don’t have a warrant. If they’re executing a search warrant and notice evidence of a crime outside of the limitations of the warrant, then they can still seize the evidence. An example of this is if they see drugs or an illegal weapon on a table while they’re searching an adjoining room that’s covered in the warrant.

A defendant who believes that their initial criminal trial wasn’t handled properly may have a valid reason to pursue an appeal. The appeals process isn’t the easiest one to navigate. You’ll want to learn more about what it entails before so that you can determine how to best address the central elements of your case in an effective manner.