Tag Archives: search incident to arrest

St. Charles drug crime defense attorney

Many drug possession charges and other criminal charges are the results of law enforcement officers searching the defendant’s property. Being the subject of a police search can be extremely stressful and confusing. When a police officer asks to search your property, do you have the right to deny the request? Your rights regarding searches of your personal property can vary depending on the circumstances, so it is crucial to understand the Illinois laws regarding search and seizure. If you are charged with a crime because drugs or other contraband are found on your property, and the search was not conducted legally, the evidence discovered in the search may not be admissible in court.

Police Searches of Your Home

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution places limits on when and how law enforcement can search an individual, his or her property, or seize contraband and other items. The Constitution states, “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…” However, in most instances, a police officer may not search or seize an individual or his or her property unless the officer has a valid search warrant signed by a judge or a valid arrest warrant. In some situations, the legal concept of “exigent circumstances” gives police the right to search a home without a warrant. A law enforcement officer has the authority to enter a home or perform a warrantless search if there is a risk of imminent danger, contraband is in plain sight, the evidence is being destroyed, or a suspect is attempting to escape.

Continue reading