Friday, 20 May 2011

How an Illegal Search and Seizure can Impact your Criminal Case

The solid defense of a criminal case in California can often depend on your San Diego criminal defense lawyer proving the illegality of the search and seizure that was conducted prior to an arrest.

A search warrant can be used by a law enforcement officer to search your property, including your home, your car, or your office. The search warrant has to be signed by a judge, and gives permission to law enforcement officers to enter a property to look for certain specific items. A search warrant cannot be issued unless there is probable cause, or reason to believe, that the person person committed a crime. A search warrant will be issued if a judge is convinced that it's likely that a crime has taken place, and that evidence connected with the crime is likely to be found on the property. The information that a judge uses to issue a search warrant must be reliable.

A search warrant is also addressed to the person whose house is being searched and informs him that a judge has given permission for his property to be searched for evidence of illegal activity. A search warrant is quite different from an arrest warrant.

The search warrant must specify the exact areas to be searched. However, in some cases, the search may be extended throughout the property in other areas that are not mentioned in the warrant. Police will also retain evidence discovered during the search.

However, there are very strict legal procedures that must be followed during every search and seizure. If the search and seizure is illegal, then any evidence that has been obtained during the search must be suppressed, even if it involves illegal activity. If you're facing criminal charges based on evidence that was obtained during an illegal search and seizure, then a California criminal defense lawyer can help prove that the search of the property and seizure of any items was illegal.

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