Illinois Search and Seizure Attorney
Experienced Search and Seizure Lawyer Serving Cook County and DuPage County
If you have been arrested, you have rights. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures. Although the government continuously tries to minimize the protections under the Fourth Amendment, protectors of civil liberties, like the attorneys at The Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio, advocate passionately to preserve those protections.
Specific Protections under the Fourth Amendment
To be clear, the government, through its law enforcement agencies, can search and seize anyone and anything, but it has to do so in a reasonable manner. “Reasonable” means that law enforcement agents must have “probable cause” to search or seize a person or their property. “Probable cause” is a fluid concept and is subject to abuse by overzealous police officers. Fortunately, experienced criminal defense attorneys are there to protect against unreasonable searches and seizures.
The “Stop and Frisk” Problem
A police officer may briefly detain a person without having “probable cause” if the officer has a reasonable suspicion that there is criminal activity afoot. This so-called “reasonable suspicion” exception gives a police officer the power to conduct a quick pat down of a person and their immediate vicinity, e.g., the glove box of a car, to ensure that they are not carrying anything that may endanger the officer’s safety. Like “probable cause,” “reasonable suspicion” presents opportunity for abuse. New York’s “stop-and-frisk” program, for example, relied on the “reasonable suspicion” exception to indiscriminately detain and search young adults in low-income areas. Although New York’s program lowered the crime rate, it did so at the cost of civil liberties, and it did not survive a court challenge by those who care about civil liberties.
The Value of a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio have fought to protect civil liberties for many years. Our team includes experienced criminal defense attorneys with a law enforcement background, which helps our clients identify potential abuses of their Fourth Amendment protections. Although our attorneys can provide experienced representation at every stage of a criminal proceeding, it is particularly important that we be at your side from the beginning to help you avoid falling victim to police and prosecutorial overreaching.
If you are facing a criminal charge, contact an attorney from The Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio today. Our attorneys serve clients throughout Cook County and DuPage County, including Wheaton, Bridgeview, Maywood, Rolling Meadows, and Skokie. Do not delay; call 630-574-2288 for a free initial consultation.