What should I do if I I was arrested after an illegal search and seizure? 37 Answers as of May 29, 2013

I was playing outside with a BB gun and after shooting it (allowing people to know it's a BB gun, they knew I go outside with it for the past 4 - 5 years. But on Saturday the 26 of this month police acted on a supposed "Gun" and entered my home with no warrant or real definitive proof they were dealing with a gun. They conducted an illegal search of the house and told me to stay in the kitchen with the other 4 out of 6 officers, and uncovered my one pot plant and "arrested" me, however I was not read my rights at my own home, only after the mugshot and pat downs, they gave me a paper with my rights written on them and asked me if I understood, then finger printed me and placed me in a cell for 3 hours. I was not informed of my charges until my court day the following Monday were I then saw the papers informing of my charges, were they in the wrong?

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Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
I would need further information to answer. The law of search and seizure and whether and when they have to read you your rights is complicated. You should hire an attorney.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 9/9/2012
Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
You can contest the search with a motion to suppress. Discuss this with your lawyer, but it may be considered an exigent circumstance which justifies an immediate search. Your argument would be they could have frozen the premises, not allowed anyone to come or go and required you to sit in a room while they sought a search warrant. The judge would have to decide the issue.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/5/2012
Law Office of Richard Southard
Law Office of Richard Southard | Richard C Southard
They are only required to read you your Miranda warnings if they are questioning you while in custody. Whether they had a right to search for a gun depends on the information they were relying on.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 9/3/2012
Law Offices of Matthew M. Friedrich, PLLC | Matthew M. Friedrich
You may very well have a legitimate issue with the search of your home, although there are many exceptions to the requirement that police have a search warrant. Without knowing more about the case, and seeing the reports and the preliminary "evidence" I cannot comment on the true merit of the search. You would be well served to consult with an attorney regarding your case and discuss the issue in depth.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 9/3/2012
Douglas M. Philpott, P.C. | Peter J. Philpott
Hire a lawyer to file a motion to suppress the evidence.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 9/3/2012
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    If the police had a search warrant or other legal reason to be in your residence, and there are exceptions to the warrant requirement, and subsequently?the pot plant was discovered, you can be charged and could be convicted. If the police did not have sufficient justification for entering into your home then the search and seizure of the pot plant can be suppressed.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    James M. Osak, P.C.
    James M. Osak, P.C. | James M. Osak
    Was your door open? Who let the cops in? Did you open the door? Did you give permission? If door was unlocked YOU give permission for cops to enter your home. Next time LOCK THE DOORS/WINDOWS.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/31/2012
    Natty Shafer Law
    Natty Shafer Law | Nathaniel Shafer
    You may have a good argument for suppression of the evidence. The police need a warrant or "exigent circumstances" to search someone's home. An anonymous tip about a gun is unlikely to rise to the danger needed for exigent circumstances. Hire a talented attorney and you get all the evidence suppressed.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/31/2012
    Dennis P. Mikko Attorney at Law | Dennis P. Mikko
    You should either retain an attorney or ask the court to appoint one for you. The attorney would have to review the entire police report to see if there are any grounds to file a motion to supress the evidence obtained as a result of the search of your home.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/30/2012
    THE LOCKHART LAW FIRM | CLAYTON LOCKHART
    A warrantless search of a person's home is a violation of the 4th Amendment per se and it's up to the police to rebut that presumption by establishing an exception exists that allowed them to search your home without getting a warrant. Based upon your statements here I don't see that any of the exigent circumstances exist which negated the requirement that they obtain a warrant and therefore anything that they uncovered during this illegal search of your premises should be considered as fruits of the poisonous tree and should be inadmissible in a trial against you.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 8/30/2012
    Larry K. Dunn & Associates | Larry K. Dunn
    An illegal search and seizure may result in evidence being suppressed, not used in a criminal prosecution. Whether there has been an illegal search and seizure is fact dependent to be decided by a judge. An exception to a warrantless search is exigent (emergency) circumstances. If the police have a reasonable suspicion that exigent circumstances exist, it may justify entering and searching a residence. There is a question as to whether the police knew it was a BB gun or whether shooting a BB gun may constitute exigent circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/30/2012
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
    Yes, they were in the wrong in my opinion. You need to hire an aggressive criminal defense attorney in your area.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/30/2012
    William L. Welch, III Attorney | William L. Welch, III
    The Supreme Court has said that there is a public safety exception to the warrant requirement. However, you may still argue in a motion hearing that it did not apply in your case. Unless you made incriminating statements in response to police questioning while in custody, then there would be no Miranda violation.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 8/30/2012
    Law Offices of Mark L. Smith
    Law Offices of Mark L. Smith | Mark L. Smith
    It sounds like they had a warrant. You will only find out the real truth after you have been charged and apply for discovery of the police materials.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 8/30/2012
    Law Office of Jared C. Winter
    Law Office of Jared C. Winter | Jared C. Winter
    The answer to your question "what should I do?" is very simple. Hire a criminal defense lawyer to represent you. This isn't something you should try to do yourself.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/30/2012
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    Maybe but would need more details.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/30/2012
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    They will argue that they had "probable cause," probably from someone who called the cops on you. If they can establish probable cause, they don't need a warrant.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/30/2012
    MatthewR. Schutz, Esq | Matthew R. Schutz
    NJ has very tight gun laws, including BB guns. Standing outside and firing the gun is just asking for trouble. That presents probable cause.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/30/2012
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
    Unless you made an incriminating statement before you were Mirandized, then there omission is not an issue. If the search were done without probable cause or your permission, you should ask your lawyer to file a Suppression Motion.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 8/30/2012
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    You shoul hire an attorney and ee about itigating the sewarch issues.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/29/2013
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    You should hire an attorney. Only an attorney has the expertise to analyze the evidence and maker a proper challenge to any search or seizure that may have violated constitutional protections. In such a challenge, counsel may seek to suppress evidence adduced as part of the illegal search or seizure.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/30/2012
    Law Office of James Gandy
    Law Office of James Gandy | James Gandy
    This truly depends on the totality of the circumstances. In your situation, it is possible that the officers exceeded their authority. It is also possible that they were acting within their authority. It depends upon who called the police initially, what they said to the police, what the police saw, what you may have said to the police when they responded and many other factors. It is impossible to properly answer this question here. As for your Miranda warnings, police do not have to read those to you unless you are in custody AND they are interrogating you. Even if they violate these conditions, failure to read you your rights does not lead to dismissal on its own. Rather, it simply excludes any statements made in violation of the law.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/30/2012
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    From what you say, the answer is "No". A BB gun is a gun. You do not say what you were shooting at, or how you were using the gun, or whether someone was hurt as a result of your shooting. You also do not say whether or not the area where you were using the gun is a permitted area or whether there is a law against discharging a firearm. If some one reports that you are shooting a gun and people are in fear, the police can respond without a warrant. However, it is questionable whether or not the fact that during there pursuit of you in your home, they came upon the pot plant. The fact that the plant was there may be inadmissible, unless it was in "plain view". Miranda rights are generally read if the officer plans to question you or gain information from you. It sounds like you were simply arrested and booked into jail. You don't tell me what you were charged with. Based upon what you have said, it sounds like the police acted properly. You should hire an attorney who can review your case in more detail.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/30/2012
    Law Office of Charles J. Block
    Law Office of Charles J. Block | Charles J. Block
    Hire an attorney to file a Suppression Motion.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/30/2012
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    If charges have been filed, your remedy is to challenge the search in court and let the judge decide whether the police conducted an illegal search. You should probably hire an attorney to assist you and give you legal advice.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 8/30/2012
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    Was who in the wrong, the police? You were arrested for possession of marijuana for the plant. That was easy, right? You knew you were arrested for marijuana, correct? Although you supposedly "allowed people to know" some neighbor either refused to know or has it out for you, and phoned the police. The BB gun charges probably sound like terroristic acts or reckless conduct for shooting at either animals or houses. You have a lot of things going on, but do not see the role that you are playing. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/30/2012
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    That's a tough call. If they have a "person with a gun" call and it is a credible call, they can enter a residence under what is called the "Emergency Doctrine." It depends on many things such as the realism of the gun and the passage of time. You need to go see an attorney and spill out all the facts.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/30/2012
    Law Office of Evan E. Zelig
    Law Office of Evan E. Zelig | Evan E. Zelig
    Good day. It seems like your case has some significant issues which may come up regarding unlawful search and seizure and possible exceptions for the officers needing to obtain a search warrant for the property. It also appears as if charges have already been brought against you. Therefore, it is a very good idea to contact an attorney for further consultation and advice on the issues you have raised. A skilled attorney will be able to further evaluate the search and seizure issues in your case to determine whether valid motions may be brought to suppress the evidence.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/30/2012
    Myles Hahn III Attorney at Law | Myles Hahn III
    Find a good and experienced criminal law attorney in your area. That person will get the police reports to get the police version of what happened. The attorney will probably file a motion to suppress evidence. The officers will testify. The judge will decide if their searching was proper, and if the evidence can be used against you at trial.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/30/2012
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    Sounds like they were in the wrong. You need a lawyer to help you fight the matter.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 8/30/2012
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    Hire a lawyer. Whether the officers could enter your home depends a LOT on what the information is that they received that caused them to go to your house. The failure to read your rights to you would only result in the suppression of any in custody inculpatory statements you made in response to interrogation.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/30/2012
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    Retain counsel, who will move the court to suppress the illegally obtained evidence.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    You are in need of an aggressive criminal attorney. It appears that you may have a potential defense but the facts are going to be critical. If the entry and search are upheld you have admitted a criminal action. Someone skill will have to look at the entirety of the facts. Do not speak with anyone about this except an attorney, get counsel now to contest all of this at the arrangement or preliminary exam.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    Rhoades & Miller, LLP
    Rhoades & Miller, LLP | M. Jason Rhoades
    You very well may have potential suppression arguments, though not because they didn't read you your rights. However, an attorney would need more information to give you a complete answer.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    Connell-Savela
    Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
    Without a warrant, consent or exigent circumstances, the police are not supposed to search your house. I do not see any in this case. If the cops had no knowledge this was a bb gun, then they probably could assume it was a real gun. But, if a neighbor complained and called it a bb gun, cops have a problem. If the neighbor lied and said it was a real gun, then cops can probably rely on that word. They still usually need a warrant. Also, if they found the gun prior to the MJ plant, they have a problem If you are a MMJ patient, you may have a complete defense.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/30/2012
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