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Charge: Assault - State claimed client hit victim with a telephone and broke victim’s nose. However, the client was acting in self-defense.

Verdict: NOT GUILTY

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Police Searches and the Law

Almost everyone has seen a television program in which a police officer kicks in a suspect’s door and proceeds to search the premises for evidence. As you may know, this representation is very over-simplified and often inaccurate. In reality, the guidelines for what is considered a legal search are fairly well outlined. In fact, a person’s right to personal privacy is protected under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

If it is concluded that a search was conducted illegally, the evidence that was gathered may be thrown out in court, and the guilty officers may face further consequences for their actions. An experienced legal professional, like the Houston defense attorneys of Johnson, Johnson & Baer, can help a person charged with a crime determine if a search of their property was legal.

When is a Search Legal?

Under certain circumstances, a police officer may be able to search your property, including your clothing, luggage, home, vehicle, place of business, or current residence. Conditions for these searches include:

  • Consent – You tell the officer that he or she may search the property.
  • Warrant – If the officer has a search warrant, he or she has the right to search the property designated in the order.
  • Probable cause – If the officer has a legitimate reason to believe you have committed a crime and that valuable evidence may be found, he or she may be able to legally search certain areas.

While there are other specific circumstances under which a search may be legal, these are the three most common situations for legal searches.

Contact Us

If you have been charged with a crime and believe that your property has been illegally searched, you deserve to have your rights protected. To discuss your case in detail, contact the Houston criminal defense attorneys of Johnson, Johnson & Baer, P.C. by calling 713-222-0400.