Motion to Suppress or Dismiss Lawyers
Due Process – Illegal Search Attorneys
Residents of Michigan, like those of the United States, have the right to be free from illegal search and seizures. The Fourth Amendment to the United States constitution protects the people from unreasonable searches and seizures. The Michigan constitution contains a similar protection (Const. 1963, art. 1, Sec. 11). Motion to suppress or dismiss lawyers can protect you from an illegal search.
Search and seizure law, constitutional law and the various laws dealing with suppression and dismissal for constitutional violations is highly complex and only the most skillful, experienced and talented criminal defense lawyers have a handle on the intricacies of this area of law and know how to use the United States and Michigan Constitutions to protect their clients.
If you are accused of committing a criminal offense or you are charged with a crime and you believe your constitutional rights may have been violated, please do not hesitate to call the Motion to Suppress or Dismiss Lawyers with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. for a free consultation at (248) 263-6800 or click here and we will contact you. We will do everything possible to find a way to help you and we will tirelessly and tenaciously fight the government relative to any violations of your constitutional or due process rights.
We are not afraid to win!
Searches With and Without a Warrant
Both constitutional provisions require a warrant supported by probable cause for searches and seizures to be reasonable, and therefore constitutional, unless an exception to the warrant requirement applies.
Searches conducted outside the judicial process, without prior approval by judge or magistrate, are per se unreasonable under Fourth Amendment, subject only to a few specifically established and well-delineated exceptions. Among the recognized exceptions to the warrant requirement are exigent circumstance, searches incident to a lawful arrest, stop and frisk, consent, and plain view. Each of these exceptions, while not requiring a warrant, still requires reasonableness and probable cause.
Police Stop of an Automobile
When making a determination as to the reasonableness of a stop for a traffic violation, the United States Supreme Court has stated: “An automobile stop is thus subject to the constitutional imperative that it not be ‘unreasonable’ under the circumstances. As a general matter, the decision to stop an automobile is reasonable where the police have probable cause to believe that a traffic violation has occurred.” Whren v. United States, 517 U.S. 806, 810 (1996).
Based upon federal court decision, it has been held in Michigan that probable cause requires a quantum of evidence “sufficient to cause a person of ordinary prudence and caution to conscientiously entertain a reasonable belief” of the accused’s guilt.
In determining reasonableness, the court must consider whether the facts known to the officer at the time of the stop would warrant an officer of reasonable precaution to suspect criminal activity. The reasonableness of an officer’s suspicion is determined case by case on the basis of the totality of all the facts and circumstances. If evidence is obtained in an illegal traffic stop, the evidence must be suppressed. Motion to suppress or dismiss lawyers who can achieve the suppression of evidence often can request dismissal of all charges!
Police Stop and Questioning of a Pedestrian
Under Michigan law, when police approach a person for questioning on the street, it does not amount to an illegal search and seizure unless there exist intimidating circumstances leading the person to reasonably believe he was not free to leave or the person rebuffs the police officer by refusing to answer and walking away. And, a seizure for the purposes of the Fourth Amendment does not occur in the absence of an application of physical force to restrain movement or where the defendant submits to an officer’s display of authority. A display of authority includes such circumstances as where the police activate their lights and siren, display their weapons, or issue orders to a person as they approach. Thus, when an officer approaches a person and seeks voluntary cooperation through non-coercive questioning, there is no restraint on that person’s liberty, and the person is not seized. On the other hand, if a person is stopped by the police and there is no right to force that person to be detained, an illegal seizure has occurred and any evidence obtained as a result of that detention should be thrown out of court.
Under the Terry doctrine, if a police officer has a reasonable, articulable suspicion to believe a person has committed or is committing a crime, given the totality of the circumstances, he may briefly stop that person for further investigation. The scope of any search or seizure must be limited to that which is necessary to quickly confirm or dispel the officer’s reasonable suspicion. Searches that exceed that which is necessary are illegal and in violation of the 4th Amendment. Motion to Suppress or Dismiss Lawyers can file a motion to exclude illegal seized evidence resulting from a Terry Stop that went too far.
Arrest Without a Warrant
To lawfully arrest a person without a warrant, a police officer must possess information demonstrating probable cause to believe that an offense has occurred and that the defendant committed it. Probable cause is found when the facts and circumstances within an officer’s knowledge are sufficient to warrant a reasonable person to believe that an offense had been or is being committed. The standard is an objective one, applied without regard to the intent or motive of the police officer. Though an illegal arrest does not, by itself, automatically result in the dismissal of the charges, any evidence obtained as a result of the illegal arrest is properly suppressed. If there is not enough evidence for the prosecutor to proceed with the prosecution after the illegally seized evidence is thrown out, the charges will be dismissed.
Standing to Challenge an Illegal Search
However, a criminal defendant must have standing to assert his Fourth Amendment claim. Standing to challenge a search or seizure is not automatic. The defendant bears the burden of establishing standing. In order to establish standing, a defendant must demonstrate that, under the totality of the circumstances, there existed a legitimate personal expectation of privacy in the area or object searched. Second, the individual’s expectation must be one that society accepts as reasonable. An expectation of privacy is legitimate if the person had an actual, subjective expectation of privacy and that actual expectation is one that society recognizes as reasonable. Whether the expectation exists, both subjectively and objectively, depends on all the circumstances surrounding the intrusion.
Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys – Real Fighters!
When you need a lawyer to stand up and protect your rights, the Motion to Suppress or Dismiss Lawyers with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. are ready, willing and able to be at your side. If the prosecutor and judge is fighting to put you away, we will fight even harder to protect you. If your rights have been violated, we will do whatever is necessary to expose the violation and gain for you any advantage in court that is possible. When things get serious and your life is on the line, you need LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C in your corner. Call us for a free consultation at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Assistance Form and a seriously experienced criminal defense lawyer will promptly contact you.