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Were my 4th amendment rights violated? and would I be able to sue?

Chicago, IL |

I was sitting in my car parked, already smoked marijuana, i put my paraphernalia under my seat, and the rest of the cannabis was inside a container in my center console. About 15min after that, the police pulled up next to me, made me roll down my window and they told me it smelled like weed. They had me step out, asking if i had drugs, searched me then started to open my car door at which point I said hey..then the other cop yelled at me to put my hands on the car, assuring me he knew the law of what he could and couldn't do. At which point the other officer continued searching and found all my stuff. I was put in the back of the police car, took me to the station, told I was getting a ticket, but then next thing I know I'm being handcuffed to a bench. What a night...mare.

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Attorney answers 6


The search was proper. Your rights were not violated. Hire a lawyer.


No illegal search here.

No court casefor civil rights.


You need to retain a competent criminal defense attorney in your area to represent you. Whether this is an illegal search and seizure is based on all the facts and the data known to the police at the time of the initial contact with you. This is on a case by case basis. The police must have some reasonable grounds/belief to cause the stop/investigation that criminal activity was afoot.

An experienced IL criminal defense attorney will know state and federal law dealing with probable cause and a warrantless search of a motor vehicle.

I am trying to give you a general answer to your question. We do not have an attorney-client relationship by this response on the avvo website. I have not been retained to represent you. I am licensed to practice law in Kentucky and in federal court in this state and the Southern District of Indiana. You need to seek legal advice from an attorney licensed to practice in your area..


Where were you parked? I would need to see the police report to see if there is a motion.


Can you sue? Don't even think about that now. First get an attorney and defend yourself on the criminal case. And do not talk about this case to anybody except your attorney. Do not post about it anymore here or anywhere else.

You probably do not have a valid civil case against the police, but even if you did it would be premature to address it at this point. You have to deal with the criminal charge immediately.


First, the question is not whether you have a lawsuit here (as no lawyer would ever pursue such a claim for a number of different reasons), but whether you have a pretrial motion to suppress the evidence in connection with the criminal charges against you (assuming you were in fact charged with possession of cannabis and/or drug paraphernalia). The police can search a vehicle whenever they have probable cause to believe it contains contraband (something whose possession is illegal) or evidence of a crime. It is well-settled law that the odor of pot gives rise to probable cause for a vehicle search. Thus, the questions is, why did the police approach your vehicle in the first place? You need an experienced criminal defense attorney to evaluate all the facts, understanding that the police report may not reflect reality. Most of us provide free consultations.

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