Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney - Search WarrantIn Fort Lauderdale, as elsewhere in the United States, the rule is that the police cannot go into a person’s residence unless they have a search warrant or express permission from the residence’s owner. There are some exceptions, but police searches done without a warrant are generally illegal. If the police actually arrest an individual, they can definitely search someone. They have to assess whether the perpetrator has any evidence or weapons. But, they can only search the person after a rightful arrest. The police can’t search through a person’s car or home just because they arrested them.

There was a recent drug case Florida where the police were looking for a guy that had a warrant. They got a tip he was at a certain residence. They found the perpetrator and arrested him there. The police then walked to the back of the property and peered through the window where they spotted guns and drugs. They cited this evidence to get a search warrant, and then they got the marijuana and guns out of the house.

The lawyer argued in court that the evidence should be suppressed because the police didn’t have a legal right to walk back there and look in the window. Police cannot go into a person’s home without consent or a search warrant, but they also can’t enter the curtilage of the residence. The curtilage is defined as the area adjacent to a home where the public is generally not supposed to go. The police entered the curtilage of the home when they went back to look through the window. For example, someone random person might go up the driveway and ring the doorbell, but they wouldn’t walk behind the house and look through the window.

The lawyers for the state made the argument that they had a legal right to make a protective sweep of the residence in a case like this. A protective sweep just a cursory search of the home or around the home to make sure there are no immediate threats to police officers or the public. However, the police are not allowed to do a protective sweep whenever there is an arrest made. They are only able to carry out a protective sweep if there is some evidence of a safety issue, or if evidence could be destroyed.

Search Warrant - Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense AttorneyIn this particular case, the police arrested the suspect but they had no clear intelligence that there was a safety risk or that there was a destruction of evidence going on. So, the evidence was suppressed.

If you’re uncertain about whether the police had a legal right to conduct a search they did, call a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney. Broward criminal lawyers can help you with your case. You shouldn’t suffer needlessly. A Broward criminal defense attorney can clear it up for you. Call a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney today.

We handle a variety of criminal law cases, so call us now if you have any questions, (954) 256-1464.

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