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Illegal Search & Seizure

Constitutional Issues: Illegal Searches & Seizures in California

We each have a fundamental constitutional right against government agents making illegal searches and seizures. The Fourth Amendment protects your right to privacy. You have the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures in your home, as the driver or passenger in a car, and when you walk down the street. You have the right to refuse to agree to an officer's request that you submit to a search. You do not give any reason for refusing to consent to a search. Your constitutional rights against unreasonable intrusions into your privacy are reinforced by state constitutions and by state and federal statutes.

However, the government has become increasingly aggressive in searching homes, businesses, vehicles, email and cell phone traffic and individuals both with and without search warrants. The experienced attorneys at Sugarman & Cannon will protect your rights by seeking to suppress any evidence that was seized through an illegal search or seizure.

More Than 30 Years of Criminal Defense Experience in San Francisco

The lawyers of Sugarman & Cannon have been providing experienced criminal defense representation in California and federal courts for more than 30 years. If you have been charged with any type of crime such as theft, white collar crimes including embezzlement or credit card theft, drug crimes or domestic violence, we can discuss your case to see if any search or seizure by government agents was legal and met constitutional standards.

Upholding Your Fourth Amendment Constitutional Rights

Over the last several decades, courts have permitted police officers and government agents to conduct searches that would have been viewed as unconstitutional 30 years ago. One of the fundamental jobs of any defense attorney is to examine police conduct in searching individuals, cars or homes, and the seizure of any assets. If law enforcement officers are gathering evidence, generally they must have a valid search warrant. If not, the officers may have conducted an illegal search or seizure. If the evidence has been illegally seized, that evidence is commonly inadmissible in court.

There are many common misunderstandings about what the police can, and cannot do. A common mistake by those charged or arrested is to assume that the police are correct in their actions. Do not assume anything.

We can examine your situation and file a motion to suppress the evidence if necessary. A motion to suppress can lead to a dismissal of a charge altogether. We have argued hundreds of such motions in state and federal court. Many of our clients avoided a conviction and continued living productive lives because we were able to spot a flaw in the prosecution's case against them.

We invite you to contact our San Francisco or Oakland office to discuss whether your constitutional rights were violated. Call Sugarman & Cannon at 415-362-6252 or 510-272-0600 to speak with an experienced attorney familiar with your Fourth Amendment rights.