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Search & Seizure

Search and Seizure Attorney Serving Milwaukee

We'll Review Your Case at No Cost: (414) 882-8382

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects all Americans against unreasonable searches and seizures by government officials.

This means that government officers are prohibited from conducting a search and seizure of your:

  • Person
  • Home
  • Property

Unless the police have a search warrant or probable cause to believe that you are committing a criminal act, they are not allowed to search the above. Although the Fourth Amendment has been somewhat eroded over time by our courts, there are still many ways that its protections exist to this day. If you are involved in a search and seizure crime, talk our Milwaukee search and seizure lawyer at the Law Offices of Christopher J. Cherella.

Arrange a consultation with our lawyer FREE of charge.

Do Police Officers Need a Warrant?

In the absence of an arrest warrant, the police must have "reasonable suspicion" to believe that an individual has committed or is about to commit a crime before they can make contact with your person. This means that a police officer must have "reasonable and articulate facts" to justify the limited intrusion of interfering with your freedom of movement.

For example, before the police can conduct a traffic stop of a motor vehicle, they must have a "reasonable suspicion" to believe that you did commit a traffic violation. If you are caught in a motor vehicle with drugs and the police did not have a valid reason to stop you, then an experienced attorney like Attorney Cherella can file a Motion to Suppress all evidence obtained as a result of the unlawful intrusion. This is known in legal circles as the "fruit of the poisonous tree."

Arrest Due to Probable Cause

If it is found that the police did have "reasonable suspicion" to interfere with a person's freedom of movement, then the focus turns to "probable cause" to arrest that person without a warrant. The police must have "probable cause" to believe that you committed a crime before you can be validly arrested.

In the absence of "probable cause", the arrest and all evidence obtained from the arrest will be suppressed by the trial court. It is important that you hire an experienced lawyer who can meet with you and determine if there is reason to file a Motion to Suppress Evidence for a lack of "probable cause."

Arrest & Search Warrants

Often times, the police will be armed with an "arrest warrant" or a "search warrant." According to established law, the police must first apply to a judge or magistrate with an affidavit showing "probable cause" for the issuance of such a warrant. The judge or magistrate will then review the affidavit and decide if such "probable cause" exists. If the court finds that it does not, then no warrant will be issued.

However, if the court finds that "probable cause" is established within the four corners of the affidavit, he or she will sign the warrant. The police then have a certain time frame to execute the warrant and return it to the court for processing once the warrant has been executed by the police. These time frames must be strictly adhered to in most cases.

It is also important to note that police may only search for the object or person for which the warrant authorizes in an area where the person or object can be found. For example, if the warrant is granted only for the police to search for a rifle, then they cannot go into one's home and search inside a pill box. Simply stated, a rifle could not be hidden in a pill box. If such a warrant existed and the police conducted a pill box search, then anything illegal found inside that box (for example, drugs) would not be admissible in evidence against that person. Attorney Cherella knows how to file a Motion to Suppress any inadmissible evidence.

Aggressively Protecting Your Constitutional Rights

There are many avenues of relief under the Fourth Amendment. It is important, especially in drug prosecutions, that your attorney find out about all of the facts that led to the arrest of your person or property. Once the facts are properly established, Attorney Cherella can determine if valid grounds exist to attack the government's evidence on Constitutional grounds. We work hard to protect your constitutional rights.

Talk to our attorney about your search and seizure rights today - (414) 882-8382.

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