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What action (legal or not) should I take against a police department that illegally searched my car ?

Itasca, IL |

My car was illegally searched while I was waiting, along with a co-worker, for our friend to come out of a Burger King in Maywood, IL. There was no probable cause (plain sight view, odor, or fugitive gesture rule), or traffic violation(s) to merit this action. The K-9 truck blocked me from behind while I was parked ,called for back-up, asked for license and registration, and detained us. I fully cooperated with his demands, they then arrested my co-worker for a warrant. They searched the entire vehicle (including trunk) found nothing illegal or incriminating to arrest me for. The head of the K-9 unit says "I don't want to ever see you in f#@#@ Maywood ever again." I know my 4th Amendment right was definitely violated and wish to pursue action against these police officers.

Attorney Answers 4

  1. Sorry to hear about your situation. You should contact a civil rights attorney. Claims against the police for illegal searches are brought under 42 USC 1983. These types of claims are very difficult to prevail on. Best of luck.

    Charles Schierer
    1-312-888-5832 You may hire our firm by calling 1-312-888-5832. Personal Injury cases on a contingency fee basis. If we are unable to collect money for you, then you pay nothing. This answer is only general information, is not "legal advice" and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Proper legal advice can only be obtained after hiring an attorney and providing full information regarding your case.

  2. "I know my 4th Amendment right was definitely violated . . . "

    A lawyer might not be so confident based on what you have told us. You tell us your conclusion that the police had no probable cause but several aspects of your narrative suggest that this perception is one that a judge might not share. I agree with my colleague that there are attorneys who concentrate in civil rights litigation and that you should contact one for an evaluation of your case and advice on what your options are. You could try searching for an Illinois or Cook County civil rights attorney on Avvo.

    You will want to consider the timing, at least, of any action that you take. Your hope to recover financially from the police department might be a factor undermining your credibility should you have to be a witness for your friend in a criminal case.

    Run this situation past a civil rights specialist. Good luck.

  3. You attempt a monumental task that will have to be proven by your as Plaintiff in a federal action. Although the issues you described in your opinion were actionable, it is my professional view that you have a hard case to prove.

    DISCLAIMER The answer given above by the lawyer serves for educational purposes only and provides general information and a basic understanding of the applicable law. Take notice that the answer above does not create an attorney-client relationship as this website is not intended to provide anyone a specific legal advice. Anyone using the site expressly consents that there is no attorney client privilege between any person and any attorney responding. Further take notice that the site should not be used as a crude substitute for any professional and competent legal advice by a licensed professional attorney in the applicable jurisdiction. The attorney above attempted to provide competent professional information, however, the law and its applications may change frequently and vary greatly from other U.S. jurisdictions and locales. Therefore, any information and materials provided above are general in nature, and may not apply to specific factual and legal circumstances related to one’s personal legal issues. Contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer admitted to practice in your State under an attorney-client privilege to further receive a competent legal advice before making any important decisions about your particular legal issue. For further inquiries please contact: Attorney Alexander Ivakhnenko 1021 West Adams, 102, Chicago, Illinois 60607 773-562-8602

  4. When you say "fully cooperated" did they ask for and did you give them consent to search? If you said go ahead and search, you have no cause of action. Also, what are your damages?

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