Perhaps the most common complaint I get from clients about police officers involves stops, searches and seizures for apparently no reason. The client will tell me that he wasn’t doing anything and that the cops searched him anyway. Or someone might say that he was pulled over, removed from his car and that he and the car were searched. Now keep in mind none of these people would need my services unless the police found something during the illegal search that suggested a crime was committed. So the next question I get asked is “how can I prove that the police searched me for no reason?”. This article examines what criminal defense lawyers can do in these situations.
Police Reports Alone Often Demonstrate That an Illegal Search Took Place
The starting point for just about any criminal case is a thorough review of the police report. Not all police officers who conduct an illegal search and seizure are aware that what they did was unlawful. They might think their actions were justified. Their report might be an accurate account of what happened. If that is the case, and what they did was constitutionally deficient then their very words might help you win your case. So don’t always assume that cops lie. Some tell the truth and their errors and inexperience can be your best weapon for attacking the search.
Local Security Videos or Surveillance Equipment Might Exonerate You
As I have mentioned in several posts in the past, since 9/11 there are cameras everywhere. As a matter of fact, three of the last four murder cases I tried were all caught on videotape. No matter where you are you are likely to see a video camera. Your lawyer can file a motion to obtain footage captured on that equipment. Sometimes the district attorney will be ordered by the judge to contact the person responsible for maintaining the video and make sure it is preserved. No matter what, make sure that you go back to the area, look around and photograph anything you think might have recorded the activity.
Have Your Witnesses Well Prepared to Testify For You
Most of the time people get arrested they are with friends or relatives. Despite the relationship, these people can help you. Having a well-prepared witness can be the key to getting a search suppressed. It helps if the witness is educated, articulate and without a remarkable criminal history. I once represented a woman on an OUI case where we contended that she was pulled over for no reason. She ran a medical network and was driving home late from a meeting. She was driving two physicians who were among the people at the meeting. Both testified that the woman was driving fine and slowly due to some very heavy rains. The police officer stated that she was speeding and driving erratically. The judge allowed our motion to suppress the stop. Without saying so, he believed the doctors over the police officer. Their testimonies proved that our client was stopped for no reason.
The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman, PC is a criminal defense law firm committed to defending the accused. Our results cannot be matched. If you need a lawyer call us at 617-263-6800 or send us an email. We will help you.