What Is Unlawful Search and Seizure?

The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures conducted by the government. Generally speaking, this language provides people with a certain amount of protection from the police. However, determining what is unreasonable can be difficult, despite countless court decisions interpreting this issue. And unfortunately, the ambiguity of this language can harm criminal suspects, particularly those who don’t have experienced legal representation on their side. Below is an overview of unlawful search and seizure in New York.

When Can The Police Search You?

While there are limits on when, how, and where the police can search you, the truth of the matter is this: if the police can are suspicious of you, they can often find a way to search you. This isn’t to say that they will do anything illegal or underhanded in doing so. It only points to the fact that the gray area in search and seizure law provides police with ample ways to search those individuals they feel are suspicious. For example, simply driving a vehicle that matches the description of a car used to commit a crime can give the police legal justification to pull you over and search you. And if a police officer feels that you pose a threat, that is often enough to justify a pat down. In other words, law enforcement officers search people for a variety of reasons. However, evidence discovered as a result of a search can be discarded if that search is later found to have been unlawful, and this is where the assistance of a skilled New York criminal defense attorney comes in handy.


As noted above, it is arguable that the search and seizure laws are skewed in favor of the police. However, this doesn’t prevent evidence from being thrown out after a search is found to have been unlawful. In fact, courts throw out evidence obtained as a result of unlawful searches all the time. And when key evidence is deemed inadmissible, criminal suspects often walk free. Proving that a search was unlawful isn’t easy, though. It requires the assistance of an experienced New York criminal defense attorney. Therefore, if you’ve been charged with a crime in New York, it’s imperative that you engage the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney in order to achieve the best possible outcome in your criminal case. At Barket Epstein, our experienced New York criminal defense attorneys will ensure that you are fully apprised of your legal rights and provided with the most effective defense possible. And if you’ve been arrested based on evidence obtained during an illegal search, we’ll fight to ensure that the illegally obtained evidence is deemed inadmissible. Please contact one of our highly experienced criminal defense attorneys today for a consultation.