Experienced Illegal Searches & Seizures Attorney Serving Claremore Criminal Defense Clients
Most people know that the law affords them some protections from illegal searches, but in the midst of an actual arrest, they often forget that the police have to follow laws, too. Even more common, most of us can’t exactly articulate what our rights are when it comes to these situations. It is our goal on this page to clarify your legal protections and encourage you to contact our firm if you feel you have been subject to an illegal search and seizure.
Probable Cause & Searches
Contrary to popular belief, a police officer cannot just barge in and search you for any reason. They must have probable cause and, in the majority of cases, a valid search warrant in order to search your person, car, home, or other space. Even if it turns out that you were in possession of the evidence they want, it will not admissible in court if it is revealed that they obtained the incriminating items without proving probable cause.
For example, it would be illegal for a police officer to randomly select a street and go door to door searching for unregistered weapons. However, if they receive a tip from someone claiming they saw their neighbor irresponsibly discharging their weapon in the front yard and the officer notices bullet casings, this is likely enough to justify their conducting a search of the neighbor’s house.
If an officer of the law does not have a search warrant and feels they may not be able to prove probable cause, they can ask you to consent to a search. Many people don’t realize that they absolutely do not have to allow an officer to search them simply because they ask. They are looking for consent to cover their bases, but you are not required to give it to them. If an officer ever asks if they can search you, say no. It is not in your best interest to do the incriminating work for them.