Was this an illegal search?
- Yes. The police can search with consent, a warrant or exigent circumstances. As none of those existed, this was an unlawful search. It sounds like they are relying on the "probable cause" established by the odor of marijuana. However, based on your facts, it seems a stretch to say that the odor was attributable to your room.
Were my rights violated?
- Assuming this was, in fact, an unlawful search, then yes, your rights were violated by the police conduct.
Do i have any recourse against Motel 6?
- You very well may. If it can be established that their conduct was deficient, then you might have a viable cause of action.
Do i have any recourse against the police for illegal search?
- Similar to an action against the motel, if you can establish that the police conduct was outside of the scope of the conduct of a reasonable officer, then you may well have a cause of action against their agency.
As you alluded to, contacting an attorney to discuss all of the details at length would be helpful in determining the validity of any lawsuit. Unfortunately, the policies of Just Answer do not permit us to represent customers of this site or to provide direct referrals. However, we can point you in the right direction.
First, you should begin with your state bar association. The Wisconsin State Bar has a website, it is located at http://www.wisbar.org/.
The Milwaukee County Bar association has a similar site that will be more specific to your location. Their site is located at http://www.milwbar.org/.
Additionally, Martindale Hubbell is a national organization that rates attorneys across the country. Their website is located at http://www.martindale.com/.
Another nationwide website is located at http://www.avvo.com/. This site lists attorneys by geographic location and area of practice.
Each of these resources will have a wealth of information as to attorneys in your area that handle such cases. I would suggest you check each site out and you will surely find a great number of attorneys that meet your needs. Pick a few to meet with in person so that you can thoroughly explain your situation and then retain the one that you feel can best represent your interests.
Also, several customers have asked how they may direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to assist you in your legal matter, just put "FOR JOSEPH" in the subject line and I will gladly pick up the question as soon as I am on-line.