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Search and Seizure Questions

Search and seizures are lawful actions conducted by government officials that include the intrusion of a person's privacy in an attempt to search for evidence of a crime. Seizure can mean the arrest of a person or the seizure of property for the purpose of evidence. Police are required to have a search warrant signed by a judge before they can conduct a search and seizure. At times, these searches are conducted without a court ordered search warrant. Regardless of the situation, the person who has been exposed to a search and seizure usually has many questions. Below are a few of the more commonly asked questions regarding search and seizure.

If you win a search and seizure case, are you entitled to the property that was seized? There was pot plants and growing equipment.

When you win a search and seizure case, the judge usually only allows the property to be used as evidence, not that the property be returned to you. You need to go to the police department and see if they will return the property to you.

The police will probably return the equipment but the plants are illegal, therefore you will not get those back. If the police refuse to return your equipment, you will have to go to court and sue for the return of your property. If you see that you will have to sue, you should consult with an attorney who is well versed in Civil Rights/ police misconduct cases.

Can the police remove an elderly person and not allow the person to get fully dressed while conducting a search and seizure?

While the police can have a person leave the home while they conduct the search, they will usually let a person have appropriate clothing on before leaving the residence, especially an elderly person. However, the police don't have to let anyone have anything before removing the person, therefore the actions of the police was not unlawful.

How do the laws of arrest search and seizure come from the bill of rights?

People are protected against unreasonable search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment. There must be probable cause before a search warrant can be ordered. A judge must review the proof and determine if a search warrant is necessary. Also, in most cases a person cannot be arrested without probable cause. This means that a police officer cannot arrest a person without probable cause, and the officer would have to get an Arrest Warrant based on some form of probable cause.

The police entered our home to conduct a wellness check on my husband. The police then conducted an illegal search and seizure and took property from our home. What can we do?

You may be able to get an attorney to file for a Motion to Suppress to keep evidence out of court if the property taken wasn't sitting in plain sight when the police seized it without a search warrant. If you can get this done and your husband can prove that the police failed to follow procedures of conduct expected by the police department, he can file a damage claim against the police department for any damages as a result of the officers actions. To do this, you will need an attorney who is familiar with Civil Rights. If you need to find an attorney, you may want to check with a lawyer referral service.

A person called from 'search and seizure' looking for my daughter-in-law. Do I have to give them her information?

You are not legally required to talk to a person about anything without a court order that says you have to. When someone calls you claiming that they are from 'search and seizure', this isn't considered under a court order so you can simply hang up without saying a word. If someone comes to your home wanting information, demand to see a warrant or any type of documentation from the court that says you must answer them. Also, you don't have to answer any questions until you have spoken with an attorney.

Police conduct search and seizures on a regular basis and usually do so legally. However, there are times when these search and seizures are done unlawfully or incorrectly. Property that is seized during a search and seizure is usually used as evidence in a court setting. It is important to know your rights and how the search and seizure process works. If you have questions or concerns, you should ask an Expert.
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