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Does your case have a search and seizure issue?

Posted by attorney Patrick Canan

If your St. Johns County misdemeanor lawyer can successfully suppress evidence that was obtained through a warrantless or illegal search, the prosecution’s case against you will likely unravel.

The defense objective

The defense’s intention in claiming an illegal search and seizure is to suppress the evidence that was seized, because suppression of evidence in most cases involving drug, weapons possession and other charges will often undo the prosecution’s case.

Search and seizure challenges will also allow the St. Johns County misdemeanor lawyer to find certain evidence (particularly in jurisdictions without preliminary hearings) the prosecution plans to use at trial.

Warrantless searches are common, and if they were used to acquire evidence, the burden of proving the legality of the search falls on the prosecution. The prosecution must demonstrate that the police had probable cause to believe you committed a crime or believed that the evidence of a crime was with you or near you. To accomplish this, the prosecution must disclose some of its evidence. Your St. Johns County misdemeanor lawyer’s motion to suppress and the subsequent testimony at the suppression hearing thus represent a ripe opportunity for discovery.

Checklist for suppression issues

Your criminal attorney will try to answer the following questions to find out where he can claim suppression of evidence in your case:

• Were you stopped or arrested by the police? Any item taken from you or any of your statement after the stop may be subject to suppression.

• Did the police take or examine any of your possession, including wallets and its contents, backpacks and briefcases, drugs and firearms, books, financial records and computers?

• After taking certain items away from you, did the police search further by opening containers or files, whether the information was on paper or digitized in a computer?

• Did the police conduct any physical examination on you, extracting any substance from your body, such as hair, blood or urine in the process?

• Did the police search or take your vehicle or any vehicle that you were riding in?

• Did the police enter or search your home, the locations in the proximity of your residence, your business, or any other place you spend a considerable amount of time (even if you were not present there at the time)?

• Did the police seize or eavesdrop on your telephone conversations, mail or online correspondence?

• Did the police utilize any cutting edge technology to monitor your activities or probe into any private space?

A competent St. Johns County misdemeanor lawyer will be crucial in defending your rights and winning your acquittal at court. For quality legal representation, call the law offices of Attorneys at Canan Law at 904-824-9402.

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