Chicago Search and Seizure Lawyers

Dealing With Search and Seizure Issues? You Need an Elite LawyerThere’s one reason you’re on this website: you’re looking for an elite criminal defense law firm to handle your search and seizure case. Most law firms implement a cookie cutter strategy in order to fight your case, and save their own time. They don’t look…

Dealing With Search and Seizure Issues? You Need an Elite LawyerThere’s one reason you’re on this website: you’re looking for an elite criminal defense law firm to handle your search and seizure case. Most law firms implement a cookie cutter strategy in order to fight your case, and save their own time. They don’t look carefully at your situation – they simply want to move on to the next case. At Spodek Law Group, we leave no stone unturned. We do everything possible to win. Everything we do is focused on getting you results. We understand the difficulties and challenges of going through a case. If you’re accused of a crime related to search and seizure, schedule a consultation with our criminal attorneys today.

What Is Search and Seizure?

Search and seizure refers to the legal process by which law enforcement officers or other government officials can conduct a search of your person, property, or premises and seize any evidence or contraband they find. The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects against unreasonable searches and seizures by requiring probable cause and a warrant in most situations.However, there are many exceptions to the warrant requirement. Police can conduct a search without a warrant if:

  • They have probable cause to believe evidence of a crime will be found and there are exigent circumstances like a fleeing suspect or risk of evidence being destroyed.
  • The search is incident to a lawful arrest.
  • You voluntarily consent to the search.
  • The search falls under the plain view doctrine.
  • It involves a vehicle search based on probable cause.
  • It’s a stop and frisk based on reasonable suspicion.

The laws around search and seizure are complex, with many nuances and exceptions. That’s why you need an experienced search and seizure lawyer to protect your rights.

Why Hire a Search and Seizure Lawyer?

If police conducted an illegal search and seizure in your case, any evidence they obtained could be inadmissible in court through the exclusionary rule. This could result in charges being dismissed or reduced. But you need a skilled lawyer to file the proper motions and make compelling arguments.Even if the search was legal, a lawyer can still fight to get evidence excluded by arguing:

  • The initial suspicion or probable cause was lacking.
  • Police exceeded the permissible scope of the search.
  • Your consent was coerced or involuntary.
  • The search violated the plain view doctrine.
  • Police violated the knock and announce rule for home entries.

An elite search and seizure attorney will scrutinize every aspect of the search and seizure for potential violations of your Fourth Amendment rights. They know all the nuances of search and seizure law and can craft powerful suppression arguments.

Don’t Talk to Police Without a Lawyer

If police want to search you, your car, or your home, remain silent and refuse consent. Politely tell them you do not consent to any searches. Do not try to talk your way out of it or explain anything. Anything you say can be used against you later.Sometimes prosecutors will only be fair if you respond with force to them. Without an attorney advising you, you might accidentally plead guilty when you could’ve won the case. The only way to truly know is to hire a private criminal defense attorney.At Spodek Law Group – we pride ourselves on taking a hands-on approach. It means researching the exact situation surrounding your case, and putting in the leg work to be familiar with every single intimate detail. Our firm has excellent work ethics, and we constantly hold firm meetings in order to discuss and address all of our cases. In the event of an emergency – we have a full team of lawyers available to help you.

Common Search and Seizure Violations

There are many ways police can violate your Fourth Amendment rights during a search and seizure. Some of the most common violations include:

Lack of Probable Cause
Police must have probable cause to believe evidence of a crime will be found in order to get a search warrant or conduct a warrantless search. Mere suspicion is not enough. If probable cause was lacking, the search could be illegal.

Overbroad Warrant
Search warrants must be very specific about the areas and items to be searched. If police exceed the scope of the warrant, the search may be unconstitutional.

No Exigent Circumstances
For a warrantless search based on probable cause, there must be exigent circumstances like a fleeing suspect or risk of evidence destruction. If no true emergency existed, the search may be illegal.

Coerced Consent
If police threaten you or use coercive tactics to get you to consent to a search, that consent is likely involuntary and invalid. An illegal coerced consent search violates your rights.

Plain View Doctrine Violation
Under plain view, police can only seize evidence they immediately see in plain view. They cannot move objects to look for evidence or exceed the scope of plain view.

Knock and Announce Violation
Before entering a home to conduct a search, police must knock, announce their presence and purpose, and wait a reasonable time unless exceptions apply. Failure to do so can invalidate the search.

Pretext Stops and Searches
Police cannot use a minor traffic violation as a pretext to stop you and then conduct an unrelated criminal search without probable cause. This would be an illegal pretext search.These are just some of the many potential search and seizure violations. An experienced lawyer will analyze every aspect to identify any violations of your constitutional rights.

Hire the Best Search and Seizure Lawyers

Regardless of how tough your situation is – we are here to help you. Our criminal defense lawyers work hard to have a solution for you, irrespective of the situation you find yourself in. Many clients are often embarrassed by their situation, and don’t speak openly about their alleged issue. We encourage open dialogue, and recommend full transparency – so we can give you the best possible legal advice.At Spodek Law Group, we have extensive experience handling search and seizure cases. We know all the laws and nuances involved. We’ll fight aggressively to get any illegally obtained evidence suppressed and charges reduced or dismissed.Our search and seizure defense strategies include:

  • Filing motions to suppress evidence from illegal searches and seizures.
  • Challenging lack of probable cause or reasonable suspicion.
  • Arguing police exceeded scope of warrants or plain view.
  • Showing any consent to search was coerced or involuntary.
  • Proving violations of knock and announce rules.
  • Identifying pretext stops and racial profiling issues.
  • Contesting any other Fourth Amendment violations.

We leave no stone unturned in building the strongest possible defense for our clients. Our attorneys have won many difficult search and seizure cases through tenacious litigation.

Search Warrant Requirements

For police to legally obtain a search warrant, they must show a judge that there is probable cause to believe evidence of a crime will be found in the place to be searched. The warrant application must establish:

  • Reliable information indicating criminal activity.
  • A link between that activity and the place to be searched.
  • A fair probability that evidence will still be found there.

The judge must then issue a warrant that particularly describes the place to be searched and the items to be seized. Police cannot just conduct a fishing expedition.If any of these requirements were lacking, or if police exceeded the scope of the warrant, we can get the evidence suppressed.

Exceptions to the Warrant Requirement

Even without a warrant, police can legally conduct certain types of searches if:

You voluntarily give consent to search your person, vehicle, home or property. However, the consent must be truly voluntary and cannot be coerced through threats or trickery.

Plain View
Police are lawfully present and evidence is in plain view, with its criminal nature being immediately apparent. They cannot move items to create plain view.

Search Incident to Arrest
When making a lawful arrest, police can search the area within the arrestee’s immediate control to prevent destruction of evidence or access to weapons.

Exigent Circumstances
There is probable cause and a reasonable belief that evidence may be destroyed or removed before a warrant can be obtained. This includes hot pursuit of a fleeing felon.

Vehicle Searches
With probable cause, police can search an entire vehicle and any containers that may contain evidence, under the automobile exception.

Stop and Frisk
Based on reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, police can briefly detain someone and pat down their outer clothing to check for weapons.We analyze every aspect to determine if any exceptions were improperly applied, exceeding the allowable scope of a warrantless search.

Suppressing Illegally Obtained Evidence

If we can show a search or seizure violated your Fourth Amendment rights, we will file a motion to suppress any evidence obtained as a result. This could severely damage the prosecution’s case and lead to reduced charges or dismissal.The prosecution has the burden to show the search and seizure was legal. We’ll force them to prove every aspect from the initial reasonable suspicion or probable cause through the execution of the search.Our attorneys are skilled at poking holes in the prosecution’s justifications and arguments. We’ll highlight any inconsistencies or violations of established legal precedent. Even if the search appears legal on its face, we’ll find ways to attack it.The stakes are high when facing criminal charges from an illegal search and seizure. You need the most aggressive and skilled lawyers protecting your rights. That’s what you’ll get from Spodek Law Group.

Arrested After an Illegal Search? We Can Help

If you or a loved one was arrested after what you believe was an illegal search and seizure by police, don’t delay. Evidence can be lost and statutes of limitations apply. Contact us immediately for a free and confidential case evaluation.Our search and seizure lawyers will review all the details and start building your defense right away. We know how to get illegally obtained evidence suppressed and charges reduced or dismissed.We fight tirelessly to protect our clients’ constitutional rights against illegal searches and seizures. No matter how complex the situation, we have the skills and experience to win.Spodek Law Group is an elite national law firm with offices in New York, New Jersey, and California. Our criminal defense attorneys have successfully handled countless search and seizure cases across the country.Don’t trust your future to an inexperienced lawyer. Get the best search and seizure defense by contacting us now. We’ll make them play by the rules.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an illegal search and seizure?
An illegal search and seizure is any search by law enforcement that violates the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures. This includes searches without a valid warrant, probable cause, or applicable exception.

Can illegally seized evidence be used against me?
No, the exclusionary rule generally bars the use of any evidence obtained through an illegal search and seizure at trial. However, you need a skilled lawyer to file the proper motions and convince the court to suppress the evidence.

What if I consented to the search?
If your consent was voluntary and not coerced through threats or trickery, the search may be legal. But an experienced lawyer can still try to suppress the evidence by arguing the consent was involuntary or police exceeded the allowable scope.

Do I have to answer questions during a search?
No, you have the right to remain silent. Do not answer any questions or make any statements, as anything you say can potentially be used against you. Politely refuse to consent to any searches and do not physically resist.

How do I know if the search violated my rights?
There are many potential violations, from lack of probable cause to exceeding scope of warrants to improper application of exceptions. An experienced search and seizure lawyer knows exactly what to look for and how to attack the legality of the search.

Schedule Your Consultation Now