Michigan Federal Defense Lawyer – Fighting Violations of the Fourth Amendment
When law enforcement officers or agents violate a person’s rights, everyone is in jeopardy if their conduct is not checked by a court. It takes a top defense lawyer to get a judge to take action.
The 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution forbids illegal searches and seizures. When the FBI, DEA, or any other law enforcement agency cuts corners or improperly obtains a warrant, a judge has the power to suppress evidence or dismiss charges.
A search is valid if authorized by a search warrant or a legally cognizable warrant exception under the law. A law enforcement officer must present sufficient facts to convince a judge or magistrate that there is sufficient evidence to justify issuing a warrant. Unfortunately, law enforcement officers make mistakes, and sometimes they intentionally or recklessly make false or exaggerated statements when attempting to get a search warrant. If an officer fails to include pertinent information in a warrant request that discredits other evidence, it would be highly improper. It can be the basis for a prevailing Motion to Suppress Evidence.
False, Misleading, or Exaggerated Facts in a Search Warrant Affidavit
When false, misleading, or exaggerated facts are included in an affidavit that is presented to justify a search warrant, there is a violation of the 4th Amendment. Law enforcement is obliged to include facts in an affidavit in support of a search warrant. The facts or averments must be true to the best of the officer or agent’s information, knowledge, and belief. When federal agents or police officers twist the truth to justify a search, the constitutional defense team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. will do what is necessary to fight for a client’s rights and seek the suppression of illegally seized evidence. Federal constitutional law applies not only to federal cases but also to felony and misdemeanor cases prosecuted by the state of Michigan.
Franks Hearing and Seeking to Suppress Illegally Seized Evidence
In federal court, the evidentiary hearing to determine if there was a constitutional violation related to the issuance of a Search Warrant is called a “Franks Hearing.” In Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154 (1978), the Supreme Court held: “[W]here the defendant makes a substantial preliminary showing that a false statement knowingly and intentionally, or with reckless disregard for the truth, was included by the affiant in the warrant affidavit, and if the allegedly false statement is necessary to the finding of probable cause, the Fourth Amendment requires that a hearing be held at the defendant’s request.”
At a Frank’s Hearing, the burden is on the defendant to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that there was perjury or reckless disregard for the truth in the affidavit used to get the search warrant. If the defendant can meet this burden, he or she must then show the affidavit’s remaining content is insufficient to establish probable cause. If the defendant is successful in meeting both burdens, the search warrant must be voided and the evidence seized as a result of the search excluded. In other words, “Motion to Dismiss is Granted!”
Experienced, Effective and Affordable Michigan Federal Defense Lawyer
If you need experienced, effective, and affordable representation in federal court or a Michigan court, you need to look no further than LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. Our unique team approach to criminal defense gives us an advantage over solo-practitioners and gives us a fighting chance against the United States Attorney’s Office or a state prosecutor. No other lawyers will fight harder or more effectively to protect and defend you. Call us for a free consultation, and we will take the time to patiently talk with you, answer all of your questions, and help you figure out your best options. We will find a way to help you.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation, or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will contact you promptly.