Under Constitutional Law, residents of America have a right to be secure and private in their property and holdings. This, however, does not mean that they will never have to deal with a search and seizure. In fact, law enforcement has a right to search property in many cases – and it is a right that they will utilize if they feel that it will help them to build a case against an alleged or suspected criminal.
There are several circumstances upon which a search and seizure is completely legal. For instance, a lawful search and seizure can be performed when law enforcement have a written and valid search warrant. Other circumstances that are the exception to this rule include when explicit consent has been given that the search can take place.
Another muddy gray area is that of “reasonable expectation of privacy.” If property is being held in a place that a person does not have a reasonable believe will be kept private, then that property is not protected against searches. Houses, for example, are a place of expected privacy.
Motor vehicles, however, are not. Property that has been placed within a vehicle is not being hidden and is not in a place of explicit privacy. For this reason, it is often encouraged and highly urged that a person is never to place property within their vehicle that they would not want law enforcement to see, find or confiscate.
A final gray area regarding search and seizures is that of “exigent circumstances.” In cases where time is of the essence, there simply may not be enough time for police to seek a valid warrant. When this occurs, they might act quickly to ensure that evidence is not destroyed, tampered with or removed completely.
What happens when the search was not performed legally? With all of the gray areas, it is easy for an overzealous officer to act outside of the boundaries of the law. Even police are not allowed to be held above the law. If police performed a search based on the idea of exigent circumstances when there was no reason to believe that time was short, then the evidence obtained in the search should not be used against you.

This is where it becomes vastly important to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side. By working with a tenacious advocate, you can seek to have that evidence thrown out. This is known as fruit of the poisonous tree. Any evidence that was obtained illegally should not be admissible in court – along with this, any evidence or information that came from this initial illegal evidence should be thrown out as well.

If you feel that you have recently been subjected to an illegal search and seizure, you should not waste a moment to contact a criminal defense attorney that you can fully trust. These cases are complex and their outcome is of the utmost importance. No matter who you are or what you are suspected of having done, you have rights that should not be violated by law enforcement acting outside of the boundaries set up in the law. Contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible and learn more about how they can help you to protect and defend your just rights.  You can call Houston criminal defense attorney Jim Sullivan at 281-546-6428.

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