What constitutes anillegal search and seizure?

UPDATED: Sep 17, 2011

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What constitutes anillegal search and seizure?

I was staying at a friend’s house when a police officer showed up and came in. He started searching without any consent or warrant from anyone staying at the house and when we asked him to stop he made us leave the room. He found 10 colodopin pills and is charging us with intent to deliver a controlled substance. He also confiscated about $500 from my boyfriend who had just gotten his unemploymentbut it did not show up in the paperwork of things taken from the house. The cop went on vacation the next day. Was this an illegal search and seizure?

Asked on September 17, 2011 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Well you certainly have a whole lot of issues going on here and it may be best for you to discuss them all with an attorney in your area.  The 4th Amendment of the united states protects a person from illegal search and seizure.  The laws that center around search and seizure are balanced with the rights of the police to uphold the law.  We have all seen the television episodes that show the police obtaining a search warrant to search some one's home.  If the police have probable cause to believe they can find evidence that you committed a crime, and a judge issues a search warrant they can come in or if the particular circumstances justify the search without a warrant first being issued.  From what you have written here you should speak with the attorney about the circumstances that gave rise to his being there to begin with.  There are not enough facts given to judge.  Also, you claim he stole the money and did not inventory it.  That is going to be a tough one to prove but you need to pursue filing a complaint.  Good luck.

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