One question that defendants in criminal cases often have concern search and seizure rules. Whether or not the property was legally seized determines if it can be used against the defendant in court. The defendant’s Criminal Defense Lawyer in Mayville WI and the prosecutor can strongly disagree as to whether proper procedures were followed.

The court’s decision on the admissibility of seized evidence can be tremendously significant to the outcome of the case. Because of this, it’s extremely important for a criminal defense lawyer to be thoroughly knowledgeable on all aspects of search and seizure law, fully protecting the defendant’s rights.

The Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution safeguards the rights of individuals during searches or while detained by authorities. Some of the issues covered under the Fourth Amendment include:

• When a person can be stopped by the police

• What constitutes an illegal search

• When an individual can claim a legitimate right to privacy

• When a person’s home, apartment or vehicle can be searched

Courts have clarified many of the governing rules over the years.

Is a Search Warrant Always Required?

Not always. Generally, someone’s property cannot be searched or seized unless a police officer has:

• A valid search warrant

• A valid warrant for someone’s arrest

• The belief that there is probable cause that a crime has been committed

When Can a Car be Legally Searched?

While a warrant is usually needed for a search, police only need probable cause to legally search your car during a traffic stop. In other words, there must be some evidence that a crime has been committed. Probable cause does not include minor traffic violations such as an expired registration, speeding or a broken tail-light.

An officer’s hunch is not enough for a legal search. Seeing or smelling marijuana or alcohol would be evidence, as would a suspect’s admission of guilt. Something stashed out of sight is not evident unless the officer has probable cause of the commission of a crime and discovered the hidden evidence as a result of that belief. Obviously, this is an issue that a criminal defense lawyer should examine thoroughly.

When you really need a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Mayville WI, call QBS Law S.C. Beaver Dam WI. It’s your lawyer’s job to ensure that all of your rights are protected, especially if the police didn’t follow the rules. You need an experienced lawyer on your side.

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