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Can Police Extend Their Search To Items Beyond The Warrant?


Generally speaking, the police cannot extend a search beyond the items stated in a warrant. However, there have been cases in which police discover other evidence of criminal activity while conducting a valid and legal search. If the evidence is found in a place that the warrant allowed them to be, then the finding may serve as probable cause to extend or expand the search beyond what is indicated in the warrant. However, if the evidence was found in a place where the police were clearly not allowed, then the evidence may be suppressed.

Can Police Ever Seize A Gun Or A Weapon Without A Warrant?

If a weapon is in plain view of an officer, they are allowed to seize it or make an arrest without a warrant. Searches can also be conducted without a warrant if there is probable cause, which is generally defined as an articulable and reasonable suspicion of criminal wrongdoing. However, this definition is subject to much interpretation. Because of the variance in the interpretation of the definition of probable cause, warrantless searches are often subject to attack through a motion to suppress the evidence. At a hearing on a motion to suppress evidence, the judge considers the evidence and makes a determination as to whether or not the search was legal. If the court determines that a search was illegally conducted, the evidence that was obtained from that search would be suppressed, meaning that the state’s attorney would be unable to use it as evidence at trial. Oftentimes this forces the prosecutor to dismiss the case at hand.

What Is Considered A Protective Sweep Of a Residence In These Cases?

The term ‘protective sweep’ refers to the gathering and monitoring of occupants in a household during the search of a residence in order to preserve evidence and ensure the safety of the officers. A protective sweep is a formality that occurs prior to the police making the search of a residence.

What Is Referred To As A Hot Pursuit In A Search And Seizure Case?

A hot pursuit is a situation in which police are conducting a chase of an individual on foot or in a vehicle. Once that person has been placed under arrest, the police have a right to search the area that is within arm’s reach of that person. With that being said, if the police are engaged in a hot pursuit, they would have already needed to establish some sort of probable cause in order to arrest or detain the individual. For that reason, hot pursuits don’t generally affect search and seizure law.

Can Police Stop And Search Someone If They Suspect Possession Of Weapons or Guns?

Stop and frisk searches are essentially random, warrantless searches that are conducted with minimal probable cause. Nonetheless, they are legal under certain circumstances. If an officer has reasonable and articulable suspicion that a person is armed and dangerous, they are allowed to conduct this type of search in order to identify potentially dangerous weapons and ensure their own safety. This means that searching for other types of contraband during a stop and frisk search is disallowed. Although the search is meant to protect the officer’s safety, many officers use it as a way to collect or search for evidence of a crime. Ultimately, the determination of whether or not a stop and frisk search was conducted under the appropriate circumstances is dictated by the court’s interpretation of the officer’s suspicion and reasoning for the initial stop.

What Is The Attorney Looking For When Defending Against A Search And Seizure Case?

When defending against a search and seizure case, the attorney will look very closely for an opportunity to challenge the legitimacy of the search. If the court determines that the search and seizure was illegal, then the case will frequently be dismissed. Personally, I begin by examining the police reports and any transcripts of police testimony for inconsistencies as well as defects in their version of the facts. Catching the police in a lie by using their own evidence creates for a strong defense. I am particularly successful in these types of situations because of the emphasis I place on attention to detail.

For more information on Searching For Items Not Listed In Warrant, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (815) 290-9170 today.

Donald N. Macneil, Esq.

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