What is Necessary to Get Your Case Dismissed Based on an Illegal Search?
Everyone in California, specifically Los Angeles, has the right not to be searched by the police under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
The searches can't take several different forms. Someone can be illegally stopped on the street. A person can be pulled over and have their car illegally searched. Or, the police can enter someone's home and unlawfully search it.
And in all of these scenarios, law enforcement is not allowed to do the searches without a warrant, probable cause, or the person's implied consent. If they do, and it can be proved they did not have the person's permission to do so, all evidence can be thrown out. If the government relies on this evidence to prove its case, then the entire case will be dismissed.
When Can Police Search Someone's Home?
In general terms, the police can only search someone's home if they have a valid search warrant issued by a judge. However, there are several exceptions to the search warrant requirement.
The easiest way that I see the police searching a person's home legally is when that person permits them / consent to do so. If you agree to let the police search your home, they can do it.
Of course, most people do not realize that they can say no to the police when they ask to search their home, and most people cannot say no under the pressure of law enforcement at their door and in their faces.
Exigent or emergency circumstances are another way that the police can get inside someone's home to search it. For example, if they are chasing a fleeing felon and the person runs into another person's home, then they will have the right to track them in there and apprehend them.
Suppose they see something criminal in your home in plain sight, and they are in a legal viewing position at the time. In that case, they could enter the house and retrieve the illegal item and would probably be successful in obtaining a search warrant for the rest of the home.
What Constitutes an Illegal Stop?
For the police to stop somebody in public, they must show that they have information related to that person and that criminal activity is afoot. In other words, they would need to articulate to a judge that they saw or heard something that indicated a particular person they're going to stop was involved in criminal activity.
Without this, they are not able to stop somebody. And, if they do, anything they find can be suppressed and not used against the person. However, law enforcement is permitted to talk to people casually and tell them that they are investigating a crime. If the person makes any incriminating statements during that conversation, that could be used against them.
What Constitutes an Illegal Vehicle Search?
Just because someone drives their vehicle on the road does not give the police permission to search the car at any time. To search a vehicle, the police must prove that probable cause exists that the person is involved in some crime.
Or, a person can give consent to search, allowing the police to do a full search of the vehicle. We have rights related to our car, but we must assert those rights or lose them. Contact the Hedding Law Firm for help.