How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Legal-Guru Your Own Question
Legal-Guru
Legal-Guru, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1366
Experience:  Experienced Criminal Trial Attorney since 1998.
58645016
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
Legal-Guru is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Our apartment was searched yesterday with a search warrant

Customer Question

Our apartment was searched yesterday with a search warrant for another boy who did not live here. They ransacked our apartment. They did not search his parent's home. They stripsearched me, ( is that legal) and bullied me. They then searched my, my son's car .
They went into my purse( legal?) then at the police station, the police told me they had texts, calls , pics of this boys phone, and my sons phone.( legal? there was no warrant)
Is my apt bugged, my cars bugged? I have to go to court this morning. They roughed me up and bullied me. But why did they not search the boys house? They said they did and they lied. We live in Charleston, SC
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Legal-Guru replied 3 years ago.
Welcome to JustAnswer.

Did you get a copy of the search warrant, and if so, what specifically did it authorize the police to search for?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

for this boy, possible possession of marijuana, distribution, and paraphenelia. Our family's names were not on the warrant. just our address. The police said they were searching the boys apartment;


they DID not. The lied. I am worried they bugged our apartment,


tapping all our phones and I must be in court in two hours.


 


The really ransacked our apartment and roughed me up. I fully cooperated. I asked them if I could get dressed. It took 15 minutes of me begging and I am a 59 year old woman; I opened the door and they threw me to the outside wall.

Expert:  Legal-Guru replied 3 years ago.
I'm sure that was a traumatic experience. To answer your questions:

(1) Whether they searched the boy's apartment or not and whether they lied about it is irrelevant to the legality of the search of your home and person. It is not illegal for the police to lie.

(2) If the search warrant was just to locate this other person, then they could not lawfully search your person or other places, such as drawers, where he could not fit. However, if the search warrant also included drugs, then they can search just about anywhere because drugs can be stored just about anywhere including on your person.

(3) Depending on the circumstances of them searching your purse it may have been legal. If you had your purse in or around your house when they executed a search warrant for drugs, then they could search your purse. If it was at the police station and they were arresting you, they can inventory your personal property. That's not technically a search. It's an inventory, but the practical effect is the same.

(4) It is very unlikely that they have tapped your phone or bugged your apartment. Those types of activities require special kinds of search warrant and 24/7 monitoring and are thus very rare and typically reserved for the investigation of very large scale drug operations where other means have failed.

(5) Excessive force is, of course, not ok, but proving it can be difficult when it is your word against the police unless it was video recorded.

(6) If you are going to court today, I assume you have or may be charged with one or more crimes. If so, you will need a local attorney as soon as possible.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

are our phones tapped or GPS'ed? Its my boy who is being processed,not me. I was given a ticket to go to municipal court


for trace elements of marijuana in a bowl. $1000.00 ticket


 


I am concerned as they have arrested my sons friend, they might tap


our phones continually. Can they do that? Can I ask them in court to stop that as they have ransacked our house. My son nor I have ever been arrrested. My son has a clean record until now. What about the 4th amendment? Did I not have a right to tell the police not to rough me up and provide warrants for wiretapping phones?

Expert:  Legal-Guru replied 3 years ago.
(1) There is no way for me to know with 100% certainty whether your phones are tapped, but it is highly unlikely for reasons I previously explained. A GPS tracking devise being placed on a suspect's vehicle is more likely than a phone wiretap but still relatively rare.

(2) I would not worry about a phone wiretap. Unless you or other members of your family are running a major drug operation that just doesn't happen outside of TV and the movies. It's too costly, difficult, and most of all takes too much manpower to do except in the rarest of cases.

(3) Court is not the place to have a conversation with the police. In fact, I suggest you not speak to the police without an attorney present.

(4) The police should not use unnecessary force in executing a search warrant. You can make a complaint with their supervisors and/or consider a civil lawsuit.

(5) Again there is no evidence of a wiretap. If the police retrieved someone's cell phone either through a search warrant, a lawful warrantless search, or consent, they can go through it and see calls made and received, text messages, and pictures. That is not a wiretap.

Related Criminal Law Questions