Motions to Suppress
In today’s popular media landscape, one of the most enduringly popular forms of entertainment is reality television. Topics ranging from Alaskan crab fishing, wilderness survival, running a million dollar business, and of course dating have all been serialized into popular reality television shows. However, no subject is perhaps more popular for reality TV than criminal justice. Reality shows about criminal justice span all sorts of topics, from the jail experience on “60 Days In,” to the original reality TV show, “COPS.” One prevailing theme of those shows is that people on the show will always say “I know my rights.” When lawyers watch shows like this, their inevitable response is: No you don’t.
Unfortunately, people’s base of knowledge regarding what their rights are based on what they see and hear on movies and on TV. Instead, that base of knowledge should be based on what a skilled and experienced St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney tells you. Constitutional rights can be complicated and nuanced, and instead of telling a police officer that you know your rights and potentially getting into even more trouble, you should remain silent and contact your lawyer immediately any time you are investigated for or charged with a crime.
One of the most important sets of constitutional rights are those created under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Fourth Amendment States in its entirety: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Several rights can be derived from the Fourth amendment. First and most importantly, it establishes the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Under the Fourth Amendment, police officers and other government actors are required to have a warrant in order to search you, your property or your home. Over time, the rights established under the Fourth Amendment have been eroded by our courts. Many searches occur in the absence of a warrant because the criminal justice system has established a huge amount of exceptions to the warrant requirement.
If you or your property has been searched by the police or other investigator, you should immediately contact a skilled St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyer who can determine whether or not you have any claims under the Fourth Amendment. Fourth Amendment claims most typically take the shape of a motion to suppress evidence. When evidence is collected via an illegal search or seizure, a properly filed motion to suppress could result in damning evidence being thrown out by the presiding judge.
If a search is conducted without a warrant, prosecutors must establish that there was a valid exception to the warrant requirement. If there is no exception and no probable cause, a skilled St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyer may be able to get the evidence thrown out of court and even get your case dismissed.
Exceptions to the warrant requirement are numerous and you should always be on the lookout for officers intending to circumvent your constitutional rights. Valid consent is an exception to the requirement. An officer can search you, your vehicle or your home with no probable cause or even suspicion that you have committed a crime if you give them consent to do so. Many people think that allowing officers to search shows that they have nothing to hide. This is a fallacy. You should never give police consent to search your property and always request that they obtain a warrant. And you should always contact a lawyer.Speak to Our Lawyers Today
The attorneys at Hanlon Law have handled numerous constitutional motions protecting the rights of our clients. Call us today for a consultation at 727.897.5413.