Video Center » Videos » What If the Police Searched Me Without a Warrant? Citrus Court Defense Attorney Explains
The general rule, enshrined in the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution (and applicable to the states by way of the Fourteenth Amendment, i.e., “selective incorporation doctrine”) is that the police must have obtained a warrant from a judicial magistrate supported by an oath or affirmation of a belief in probable cause that a crime was committed and the person whom the police are interested in searching is the person who committed the crime (i.e., and the instrumentalities or fruits of the crime will be found with that person). In other words, Americans are supposed to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.
An intelligent and strategic criminal defense attorney will challenge any warrantless search lacking probable cause. Evidence that the police obtain by a search or seizure that violates the Fourth Amendment is inadmissible in court. Mapp v. Ohio (1961) 367 643, 655.
However, like most rules, it is riddled with “exceptions.” In fact, through the decades, the Supreme Court has carved a variety of exceptions to the so-called “warrant requirement” encapsulated in the Fourth Amendment that make the latter look like the proverbial slice of “swiss cheese.” Absent a warrant, a search is only deemed reasonable if it falls among these “exceptions.” Riley v. California (2014) 134 S.Ct. 2473, 2482.
CHALLENGING A SEARCH WARRANT AS DEFECTIVE
Let’s examine the situation where the police have a warrant and your attorney is interested in challenging it’s validity. To be