Understanding Search And Seizure Rights

You are probably aware that the U.S. Constitution protects you from unreasonable search and seizure tactics. However, putting this idea into practice can result in confusion. The legality of a search and seizure can drastically differ depending upon the circumstances of each case.

Napier & Napier has protected New York residents from criminal charges and unlawful search and seizure practices since 1948. If you suspect that your rights were violated, call our Rochester office at 585-512-8229. We can carefully evaluate law enforcement's actions, and ensure that your rights were not violated. Evidence against you may be dismissed if it was unlawfully obtained by police.

Understanding Your Basic Rights

In most cases, police officers must have probable cause, and secure a search warrant, to search your home, person or personal property. However, police may search your property without a warrant if:

  • You provide them with permission to search
  • You are arrested by police
  • Incriminating items are left in plain view
  • There is an emergency
  • The police are pursuing a suspect

Never provide an officer with permission to search your personal property. They are looking for evidence to charge and convict you of a crime. If a police officer asks to search your property, politely decline and contact an experienced defense attorney.

How Does This Apply To Motor Vehicles?

Search and seizure laws are less strict when they apply to your automobile. For example, an officer may search any area within the driver's reach if they have reason to believe that the driver could have a concealed weapon. Additionally, motor vehicles are surrounded by windows. This increases the likelihood that an illegal item could be spotted by an officer and legally seized. Identifying evidence for one illegal activity, such as drug paraphernalia, can provide the officer with probable cause to search the rest of the vehicle for additional evidence. However, the search must be related to the identified illegal evidence; they cannot search your vehicle for unconnected illegal activity.

Contact Us To Discuss Your Search And Seizure Rights

Search and seizure rights are complex and can drastically vary depending upon the exact circumstances of your case. If your property or person was searched, contact Napier & Napier at 585-512-8229 to schedule a free case evaluation. You may also contact our skilled defense lawyers online. We can provide the in-depth legal knowledge necessary to inform you of your rights and ensure that they are upheld.

Contact Us For Strong Defense

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Napier & Napier
36 West Main Street, Suite 500
Rochester, NY 14614

Phone: 585-512-8229
Phone: 585-672-7827
Fax: 585-232-5368
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