Unfortunately, the answer is, it depends. Generally speaking, police officers are required to obtain a warrant from a neutral magistrate before conducting a search or seizure. Evidence obtained in violation of this general rule is excluded at trial by a motion to suppress. There are, of course, exceptions that you should be aware of to avoid unnecessary risk. This blog provides a brief explanation of the warrant requirement, looks at the exceptions, and most importantly, illustrates the importance of good trial counsel. The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protects against “unreasonable searches and seizures” by prohibiting “as a general rule, searches ...
September 25, 2019CD
“You have the right to an attorney” is a common phrase most everyone has heard. But what is the significance of this phrase? And how far does this right extend? An individual, in criminal proceedings, always has the right to an attorney. This right is protected by the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution. The importance of this right is that it ensures the defendant is not subject to unfair coercion on the part of the state or government. As such, police officers are required to “advise” individuals of their right to an attorney in certain situations. One such ...
October 18, 2018CD
No. So, you catch a charge. You may have been questioned by police and given an inconsistent statement or confessed. The police may have searched you or your vehicle and found drugs. What does this mean for your case? Is the evidence stacked against you or is there a way to turn your case around? The answer lies in whether the police violated your Fourth Amendment Right1 against illegal search and seizure or your Fifth Amendment Right to remain silent. This blog explores the rules the police must follow under the Constitution and suppression of evidence (what is found or what ...
August 14, 2018CD
Searches of Your Home and Suppression of Illegally Obtained Evidence Every citizen is protected from unlawful searches and seizures of his or her person or property by the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. This strikes the balance between individual freedom and the needs of law enforcement to protect society as a whole. Where most of us encounter the Fourth Amendment is with a police traffic stop. About everyone has been pulled over for speeding and received a warning or ticket. This blog covers what you need to know about traffic stops and suppression of evidence obtained from an illegal traffic ...
February 15, 2018CD
Yes. A juvenile delinquency investigation is effectively a criminal investigation. If your child has an inquiry made by the police, you need to know his or her rights to be a parent and the consequences of this type of case to minimize the impact of such an investigation and give your child the constitutional protections available to them. The serious nature of a delinquency investigation is the purpose of this blog post, as anecdotal evidence suggests this is grossly misunderstood by parents. You should know the job of the police and juvenile officers is to investigate potential crimes and, if they ...
January 5, 2018CD
The polygraph test has urban myth status among a large segment of society. A polygraph test is an important tool in every lawyer’s toolbox--including that of the criminal defense attorney. This blog post explores the myriad of uses and limits of a polygraph and similar tests in the legal system today, as well as those for the future. Will a polygraph test prove useful in your criminal matter (civil)? A common agreement among criminal defense lawyers is individuals should not make statements to police officers if they are being investigated. However, even when knowing not to make statements, some will answer questions ...
November 7, 2017CD
The “Long” Wait for Response and Avoiding Becoming an Aggressor: Will You Remain Silent and Lawyer Up? Any incident where a firearm is pointed in self-defense to the exercise of deadly force is a dynamic event. Any civilian in this position is well advised to provide a request for assistance and identify themselves, but not to make statements without a lawyer. Such a traumatic event releases a chemical reaction in the brain that makes you unable to accurately recount facts at the time. Deadly force cases become very difficult for even the most skilled defense counsel when an intruder is on a ...
October 25, 2017CD
What makes our society safe (police) and free (doing what you want) is the delicate balance of power created by the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. For Hoosiers, there is also a balance of power created by Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution. A topic not well understood but in the daily news is when the police act (or fail to act). For police and citizens there is no agreement in any given case, but do you know the law? This blog post explores when police may “stop” a person on the street or public place. This is ...
August 9, 2017CD
A great deal of criminal law turns on bedrock constitutional tenets set forth in the United States Constitution, in particular, the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments. Anytime police are searching your car or home, the Fourth Amendment applies in several ways. One of the misunderstood concepts is protective sweeps for officer safety, a topic again just addressed by the Indiana Court of Appeals. Obviously, at this time with police officers in some areas being targeted, it makes sense that in a stop of a car or search of a home, a police officer could look for weapons that might pose an ...
May 24, 2017Adam Hayes
Suppression of evidence in a criminal case has always been a controversial topic and legal remedy. An example would be suppression of a firearm found on a felon after he or she is stopped and searched. It is illegal and a criminal act for a felon to possess a firearm under state and federal law, and standing alone, is criminal and should result in a conviction. The reason evidence is suppressed, such as this hypothetical firearm on a felon, is to make sure our constitutional safeguards are not violated. This often means a defendant—guilt notwithstanding—is not convicted. Suppression is a matter ...
April 6, 2017Adam Hayes