If you or a loved one have wrongfully been charged with a crime as a result of an improper or illegal search and seizure, let our attorneys help. We have decades of experience in the State and Federal Courts of Maryland fighting these issues, and our offices are conveniently located in Rockville and Greenbelt. Want to learn more about Maryland search and seizure laws or unlawful search and seizure cases?
Let one of our attorneys walk you through the following aspects of search and seizure law, and assist you with the legal advice you may need. Searches and seizures occur in many different ways and in all types of cases. Examples of searches include, but are not limited to:.
Searches and seizures may occur with or without a warrant signed by a judge authorizing the search. Warrantless searches and seizures are not strongly supported and often allow for strong arguments to suppress or exclude evidence obtained through a warrantless search. Searches are conducted to obtain evidence of a crime or to find and seize property for forfeiture.
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Searches and seizures can be undertaken in all types of cases for a multitude of crimes, ranging from drug offenses to white collar and violent offenses. There are many variables to consider when determining if a search is legal or not, so it is important to have a knowledgeable attorney interpret the circumstances from a legal standpoint.
The Fourth Amendment: Protecting Your Privacy
Generally, a search warrant is required to perform a legal search, though there are many exceptions. A judge can issue a search warrant when a law enforcement officer presents a sworn affidavit to a judicial officer. To justify the search, the affidavit must include sufficient probable cause for a search warrant. This means that the officer must explain why there is a reasonable probability that the results of a crime, tools used in a crime, or evidence of the crime will be found at a particular place at a particular time.
In addition to stating probable cause, search warrant requirements dictate that it must describe, with sufficient detail, the items that will be seized. In a recent case handled by Houlon Berman, law enforcement officers seized bank accounts based on a search warrant for drugs and drug paraphernalia.
We were able to successfully Petition for Return of the Money because the description of the property seized did not match the property described in the warrant.
For more details, review this article about the case. There are times when searches may be legally conducted without a search warrant.
Specific circumstances dictate whether a search without a warrant is legal, so it is difficult to provide a comprehensive list. For example, laws on search and seizure state that a search may be performed on an individual when he is arrested known as search incident to arrest.
However, in each case, the search has limits and experienced counsel is required to show that those limits were exceeded and that the search or seizure was therefore unconstitutional. The legal standard for whether a search is valid is subjective or subject to change. This means that the legality of a search or seizure is decided by the Courts depending on the circumstances of each case. A search warrant is a court ordered document that is issued by a judge.
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The document authorizes law enforcement to conduct a search of a person or a location for evidence in a criminal offense and seize the items that pertain to the case. The Fourth Amendment does not guarantee the right of freedom from unreasonable search and seizures from private citizens of the United States or corporations within the United States.
Other exceptions include searches incident to a lawful arrest, border search exceptions, searches in public schools, searches of government offices and a search may be conducted at anytime, anywhere if the person of interest gives consent to the search.
The information provided on this site is not legal advice, does not constitute a lawyer referral service, and no attorney-client or confidential relationship is or will be formed by use of the site. The attorney listings on this site are paid attorney advertising.
Search Warrant Requirement | Justia
Search and Seizure: Fourth Amendment Rights. The request for the warrants must be supported by probable cause. The case must be limited in scope. The person requesting the warrant s police officer must swear by the warrant. The officer or person requesting the warrant s is accountable to the issuing court.