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What Constitutes Probable Cause for a Search Warrant In IL?

As an American citizen, you are granted certain rights and protections under the United States Constitution. One of the most important things you should familiarize yourself with is protection from unreasonable searches and seizures. As such, if you are accused or suspected of a crime, the police cannot simply show up and search your property in most instances. Instead, they need probable cause and a search warrant. This blog explores what you should know about these matters and why you must connect with a Peoria County criminal defense lawyer to discuss your circumstances in further detail.

What Is a Search Warrant?

A search warrant is a document the police must obtain if they wish to search your property and take evidence if you are suspected of a criminal offense or activity. For example, if the police arrive at your home or pull you over, they may ask to search your home or car. If they do not have a warrant, you do not have to consent to the search. However, if they do have a warrant, refusing to consent does not mean the search is illegal.

It’s important to understand that these warrants must specify what areas of the property law enforcement can search. As such, they are prohibited from searching outside the scope of their warrant.

In some instances, such as if they believe you will become violent or destroy evidence, the police may request a no-knock warrant. Essentially they can enter your home or property by any means necessary without announcing their presence first.

What Probable Cause Is Necessary?

In Illinois, probable cause is required for a search warrant to be issued by a judge. When the police request a search warrant, they must also attach an affidavit. Essentially, this means that the police officer has to provide a sworn statement explaining why they believe the person has committed a crime and what evidence they think they will find at the property to warrant the search.

What Should I Do if My Rights Are Violated?

If you believe you are the victim of an unreasonable search and seizure by the police, it’s important to understand that you have rights. You should connect with an attorney as soon as possible. If law enforcement enters your home without your consent or a warrant or conducts a search outside of the scope of their warrant, your attorney may be able to file a motion to suppress the evidence illegally and unconstitutionally taken by the police. If the motion is successful, the evidence will be barred from admission into the court. This can weaken the prosecution’s case against you.

When you are a victim of a violation of your constitutional rights, it’s imperative to connect with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Whether you’re accused of theft or a DUI, the team at Giraudo Law is ready to assist you. Connect with our dedicated team today to learn how we can guide you through these complex times.

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