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Illegally Seized Evidence

When it comes to criminal trials, both the prosecution and the defense often rely on the presentation of evidence to prove their case. The prosecution will usually present evidence that was obtained by law enforcement officials in order to prove that the accused individual committed the crime. It is important to note that evidence may only be used in a trial if it was obtained in a legal manner.

The court case Katz vs. U.S in 1967 established the fact that individuals have a reasonable expectation of privacy and places the determination on the courts to decide what that expectation may be. Police and other law enforcement officials are not allowed to conduct illegal searches and seizures, and evidence that is obtained in an illegal manner may not be allowed in the criminal trial. For more information on evidence and criminal defense, contact the Appleton criminal attorneys of Hart Powell, S.C. at 414-271-9595.

Understanding Search Warrants

Legal seizure of evidence often requires that law enforcement officers obtain a search warrant. Search warrants often require:

  • Specific reasons that give the investigators “probable cause”
  • Affidavits and sworn oaths detailing the probable cause for search and seizure
  • Details about the time and place of the search
  • Information on the individual who is suspected of criminal behavior

Illegally obtained evidence may be excluded from a criminal trial, but due to the “exclusionary rule” this does not necessarily mean that the criminal charges will be completely dropped.

Contact Us

If you or someone you love stands accused of a criminal act, contact the Appleton criminal lawyers of Hart Powell, S.C. at 414-271-9595.