Federal Law Controls Michigan Search and Seizure Law

If federal search and seizure law is more restrictive than state law, federal law is controlling. A defense lawyer with federal experience is likely to provide the strongest possible defense.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney Team

Even in a state case, a search must be valid under federal law.

In the case of United States v Beals, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Michigan) determined that a search warrant issued by a state court judge and executed only by state law enforcement officers is valid in a federal criminal prosecution and any evidence seized as a result is admissible.  In other words, Michigan search and seizure law is controlled by federal law, unless the law in Michigan is more restrictive.

Requirements for a Valid Search Warrant

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution requires that:

  1. a warrant be issued by a neutral and detached magistrate,
  2. only on a finding of probable cause, and
  3. the place to be searched and items to be seized are described with particularity. If these elements are met the warrant is valid, even if there is a problem with it under state law.

The 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Imagine if the police enter your home without a warrant and discover evidence of a crime. Is the evidence admissible? It might be depending on the circumstances. If the police had good reason to believe they would discover evidence of a crime, it is likely that any evidence found would be suppressed because they did not obtain a warrant before entry. Conversely, what if the police entered a home with a reasonable belief that someone therein needed medical assistance. While in the home, the officers observe evidence of a crime, such as cocaine on a table. That evidence would likely be admissible in court regardless of whether there was a warrant because a court would find the entry into the home was legal due to “exigent circumstances.”

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney with State and Federal Defense Expertise

If you, or someone you know, is facing state or federal criminal charges, it is essential that you have legal representation that is second to none. If there is an issue with Michigan search and seizure law, the expertise of a highly trained and fearless defense attorney is needed.  When dealing with the possible loss of your freedom, you do not want your future placed in the hands of an attorney that “dabbles” in criminal law. You want an expert! The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have decades of experience exclusively practicing criminal defense.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

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