San Bernardino Criminal Case Search And Seizure

Prosecutors must prove your guilt in a criminal case, and they must present irrefutable evidence to do so. When a San Bernardino criminal case search occurs, police have to follow the Fourth Amendment and have probable cause. If you were searched without a warrant or subject to an illegal search, an attorney at Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox LLP can help you keep the evidence from being used to secure a conviction. Call (909) 453-4066 or contact us online now to learn your options for suppressing evidence and seeking a dismissal of charges.

At Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox LLP, our San Bernardino attorneys have successfully represented clients facing a wide variety of criminal charges. Whether an illegal search involved an unjustified traffic stop or an unwarranted intrusion into your home, we’ll fight to make sure the evidence obtained isn’t used to convict you. Call to schedule a consultation with our criminal lawyers and learn how we can help with your case. We can provide answers to key questions including:

  • When is a traffic stop an illegal San Bernardino criminal case search?
  • What does it mean for your case if the search was illegal?
  • How can a criminal lawyer in San Bernardino help me?

When is a Traffic Stop an Illegal Search?

Traffic stops can lead to various legal problems. Such issues include a DUI arrest or police finding drugs, weapons, or other contraband in your vehicle. Sometimes, however, police act inappropriately and the search is illegal. This could occur:

  • If police pull you over without justification. If you aren’t breaking any traffic laws (like speeding), police can’t just pull you over. There has to be a legitimate reason for the stop. If there wasn’t, any evidence collected during it can be suppressed.
  • If police search your vehicle without cause. Police cannot just make you open your glove compartment, trunk, or other private areas of your car. If you have things like drugs or an open alcohol bottle in plain view, this can be used as evidence against you and may create probable cause for a search. Otherwise, any evidence collected from an unjustified search of your vehicle cannot be used to convict you of a crime.
  • If police ask you to undergo DUI testing without cause. When police pull you over for a traffic violation, this doesn’t give them license to require you to take a breathalyzer or do field sobriety tests. Unless there is enough evidence to create a reasonable suspicion of intoxication, the results of DUI testing conducted illegally cannot be used against you.

These are just a few of many examples in which a San Bernardino criminal case search may be considered unjustified. If you can prove the stop was unjustified, your attorney can argue that the prosecutor shouldn’t be able to use the evidence in trial.

What Does it Mean if a Search Was Illegal?

If a search was conducted in violation of the Fourth Amendment, evidence collected in the search is not admissible. Your attorney can file a motion to suppress the evidence. Any evidence police obtained as a result of the search is also not admissible against you, because it is considered “fruit of the poisoned tree.”

Once your attorney has successfully filed a motion to suppress and the prosecutor is no longer allowed to use the evidence, it may be possible to successfully get the case dropped. Without evidence, a prosecutor can have difficulty showing probable cause to move forward with the case.

How Can a Criminal Lawyer Help?

After an illegal criminal case search in San Bernardino, you need legal advice. Your lawyer can help determine if the police failed to follow the Constitution in conducting the search and can also take appropriate legal steps to make sure the evidence is not unjustly used against you. Call Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox LLP today to learn more.