People who are facing criminal charges in Oregon may have been subject to a police search and seizure. Police are allowed, in some circumstances, to search a person’s home, car or person in order to seize evidence of a suspected crime. However, police have limitations to when and how they can conduct a search.
In most cases, law enforcement officers have to obtain a search warrant from a judge in order to enter a person’s home and conduct a search. To obtain a search warrant, officers must demonstrate to the judge that they have probable cause that they will find evidence of a crime. While conducting the search, police officers must follow the guidelines of the search warrant unless they happen to see clear evidence of another suspected crime in plain view.
There are some occasions where a police officer could legally conduct a search and seizure without a search warrant. A police officer may conduct a warrantless search if the accused person gives them verbal permission to do so. Police are also allowed to freely search areas where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy, such as curbside trash. In emergency situations or when there is obvious evidence of a crime, police can conduct a warrantless search.
If police officers entered someone’s home without a warrant, permission or probable cause, any evidence that they obtained during the search would not be admissible in court. A criminal defense attorney may be able to help a person who was subjected to an illegal search and seizure to petition for the dismissal of illegally obtained evidence. In cases where police did have a warrant, a lawyer may look into whether police violated the stipulations of the warrant.