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What You Need to Know About Illinois Search Warrants

 Posted on October 28, 2015 in Search and Seizure

You have probablysearch warrant, Fourth Amendment rights, Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney seen or heard about search warrants in movies or on television, but the way they are used in real life can be quite different. Search warrants give law enforcement permission from a court to search your property. Warrants can be issued that allow law enforcement to search your home, business, computers, car, cell phone, or any other property you may have.

When Are They Needed?

The U.S. Constitution and Illinois law protect you from unreasonable searches. This means that the police, or other law enforcement agency, must usually have your permission or a search warrant before entering your property to look for evidence of a crime.

If the police ask to come into your house to look around and you give them permission, they do not need a warrant. Anything they find can be used against you in court. However, if the police ask to search your house and you tell them they need a warrant, they cannot then search your house without first obtaining a search warrant from a judge, based on probable cause.

It is almost never in your best interest to give the police permission to search your property, even when you think you have nothing to hide.

What Happens When the Police Show Up With a Warrant?

If the police show up at your house with a search warrant, you have to allow them to search your property. You have the right to inspect the warrant, but if you fail to allow them to execute the search warrant you will likely be arrested and charged with obstruction of justice.

If the police have a warrant that later turns out to be defective in some way, the court may not allow the evidence gathered from the warrant to be used at trial. But, you are not in a position to evaluate the validity of a search warrant when it is presented to you.

In some instances, the police may not knock on your door when they have a search warrant. Instead, the search warrant may be served by a SWAT team, which may feel more like a raid and less like a legal operation. If this happens to you, you need to cooperate with the police. Your life and your freedom may depend on it.

 You do not, however, have to stand up for your rights by yourself. If you have been accused or charged with a crime, contact a skilled and dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer right away. Do not talk to anyone about your case until you have spoken with an attorney the Cosley Law Office. Call 847-253-3100 today to schedule your free initial consultation.



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