Unlawful Search & Seizure Attorney in Seattle, Washington
The U.S. Constitution protects you from unlawful searches and seizures through the Fourth Amendment. Unfortunately, police officers do not always follow the rules and end up violating citizens’ constitutional rights.
If you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges after being subjected to an unreasonable search and seizure, you may be able to challenge the charges against you, suppress the illegally obtained evidence, and pursue a civil rights claim against law enforcement.
As a criminal defense attorney at The Law Office of Dan N. Fiorito III, I assist people whose constitutional rights have been violated by law enforcement in Seattle, Washington, and throughout all of Western Washington. I have successfully argued unlawful search and seizure cases and won motions to suppress on behalf of my clients.
The Fourth Amendment
The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution prohibits the government and law enforcement from conducting unlawful searches and seizures. The Fourth Amendment prevents the police from stopping you and searching your person, home, or car unless certain criteria are met.
The protection from unlawful searches and seizures is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution unless the police have a valid search warrant, probable cause to believe that you committed a crime, any exigent circumstances exist, or you consent to the search.
A search occurs when the police search for physical evidence indicating that you committed a crime (weapons, drugs, alcohol, etc.); and
A seizure occurs when the police take possession of the physical evidence found on your person, in your car, or in your house during the search.
Unfortunately, the police routinely disregard the Fourth Amendment when performing their duties. If you believe that your constitutional rights were violated by the police, you might want to discuss your legal options with an experienced attorney.
Exceptions to the Warrant Requirement
Law enforcement officers do not always need a warrant to conduct lawful searches and seizures. There are several exceptions to the warrant requirements that allow the police to engage in warrantless search and seizures:
Probable cause. If the police have probable cause to believe that (a) you committed a crime and (b) they will be able to find evidence of that crime, they can perform a search without a warrant.
Plain view. Law enforcement can conduct a lawful search and seizure without obtaining a warrant if crime evidence is in plain view. For example, if a police officer sees drugs in your car through the window, they can search the car without a warrant.
Exigent circumstances. When exigent circumstances exist, the police do not need a warrant to search your person, car, or home. Exigent circumstances are emergency situations that justify a warrantless search. For example, exigent circumstances may exist to conduct a search without a warrant if the police officer reasonably believes that not performing an immediate search would cause harm to other people, destruction of evidence, or result in the suspect’s escape.
Consent. Another common exception to the warrant requirement is when a person consents to the search without a warrant. However, keep in mind that you are never required to give the police permission to search your person, car, or house.
If the police conducted a search and seizure without a valid warrant, you might want to contact a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney will help you understand your options for suppressing the evidence that was obtained during the illegal search. Your attorney can build a strong case for your defense and present sufficient factual information to convince the judge that you were subjected to an unlawful search and seizure and that your constitutional rights were violated.
Unlawful Search & Seizure Attorney Serving Seattle, Washington
If you believe that the police conducted an unlawful or unreasonable search and seizure, you need to act quickly to protect your Fourth Amendment rights. As a criminal defense attorney who handles unlawful search and seizure cases in Seattle, Washington, I can help you determine the legality of the search. Contact The Law Office of Dan N. Fiorito III to fight for illegally obtained evidence to be thrown out of court.