» The Fourth Amendment Prohibits Unreasonable Police Searches

The Fourth Amendment Prohibits Unreasonable Police Searches

Lakeland, FL (Law Firm Newswire) June 4, 2014 - Whether or not a police search is legal depends on the facts of the case.

“The Fourth Amendment bans police from making unreasonable searches of people’s personal possessions, their homes and the accused. However, whether searching a suspected criminal is legal depends on the facts of the case,” outlines Thomas Grajek, a criminal defense attorney in Lakeland, Florida.

Should the search be illegal, any evidence collected during the search may not be used. Over the last few years, since the advent of the smartphones, criminal searches involving e-devices and cell and smartphones have become a highly controversial issue.

If an accused gives permission for the police to search their person or property, the officer may seize any evidence discovered. Where the search becomes controversial is if an officer sees an individual walking down the street, after coming out of a known stash house. That individual is using a smartphone and the officer suspects the person may be involved in selling drugs. The officer stops the person and asks to check text messages on the phone. “If you agree to let the police search your phone, the search is legal,” Grajek adds.

When property is involved, criminal searches generally must have a warrant, based on the police presenting evidence to a judge that may convince them there is reason to believe there is evidence of a crime at that location. The reason provided to the judge to obtain a warrant is referred to as probable cause. Once a warrant is approved, the police may legally conduct a search without a suspect’s permission. Warrants may be issued for e-devices, cellphones, cars, homes and personal property.

It is sometimes possible to search without a warrant and the search is legal. For example, the police may search an individual arrested for drug charges, carrying weapons or harbouring illegal goods. “Some states allow a search of a cellphone or other mobile devices belonging to an arrested suspect. Police may also conduct a search of a car or home without a warrant if they believe evidence may be destroyed, prior to obtaining a warrant,” says Grajek.

The law relating to searching cellphones and other e-devices is uncertain. Courts have made various rulings on whether or not police may search mobile devices or data stored on a computer. For instance, the California Supreme Court ruled police may download text messages from the phone of an person under arrest. “Conversely, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled police need a warrant before putting a GPS device on a suspect’s vehicle in their driveway,” said Grajek.

Thomas C. Grajek
206 Easton Drive, Suite 102
Lakeland, FL 33803
Phone: 863.688.4606

View Larger Map

  • Meth Makes Millions
    <p>It is no surprise that making the illegal drug methamphetamine (aka meth), a drug known by at least 45 different names, makes some individuals and groups very rich. It is a multi-billion dollar business that maims, kills and takes no prisoners. The chalky white powder looks deceivingly innocent. It is a bitter-tasting powder with no ordor that dissolves easily in alcohol or water before swallowing, injecting, smoking or snorting it. Once the drug enters the blood stream it begins to kick up the dopamine levels already existing in the body, producing a sudden chemical high, often referred to as a […]</p>
    <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.flcrimedefense.com/2015/09/meth-makes-millions/">Meth Makes Millions</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.flcrimedefense.com"></a>.</p>
  • Criminal Defenses May Include Renunciation
    <p>A good criminal defense attorney has an arsenal of defenses he or she may call upon to assist a client. One of those defenses may be renunciation. To be found not guilty as pled according to the defense of renunciation means a defendant is not considered to be guilty of an offense or is not likely to be labelled as an accomplice provided the defendant informs law enforcement in enough time to allow them to prevent a possible crime in progress. Additionally, the defendant is found to have ended his or her participation before the actual commission of the crime […]</p>
    <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.flcrimedefense.com/2015/09/criminal-defenses-may-include-renunciation/">Criminal Defenses May Include Renunciation</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.flcrimedefense.com"></a>.</p>
  • Hosting a Party? Be Careful How Much Alcohol is Served
    <p>Serving alcohol at a party comes with a great deal of responsibility. Many hosts do not realize they may face legal consequences if a guest drives while inebriated and injures or kills someone, or if any guest is under the legal drinking age of 21. If you are going to throw a party for whatever reason, make sure you are aware of the laws in your state relating to serving alcohol to guests. Some states have laws on the books that confer criminal or civil liability if a host serves alcoholic beverages to underage guests or to guests that are […]</p>
    <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.flcrimedefense.com/2015/09/hosting-a-party-be-careful-how-much-alcohol-is-served/">Hosting a Party? Be Careful How Much Alcohol is Served</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.flcrimedefense.com"></a>.</p>

See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: , , , , ,

Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required