Illegal Search and Seizure

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Procedural Law

Illegal search and seizure refers to actions by law enforcement officers or government officials that violate an individual’s constitutional rights, specifically the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.

An illegal search and seizure occurs when law enforcement officers search a person, their property, or their home without a warrant, without probable cause, or without a valid legal basis. Similarly, seizing property or evidence without a valid legal basis or without following the proper procedures can also be considered an illegal seizure.

Examples of illegal search and seizure include a police officer searching a person’s car without a warrant or probable cause, a police officer searching a person’s home without a warrant or valid legal basis, or a police officer seizing property or evidence without following the proper procedures.

Illegal search and seizure is a serious violation of an individual’s constitutional rights and can have significant legal consequences. If evidence is obtained illegally, it may be suppressed in court and cannot be used against the defendant in a criminal trial. Additionally, individuals who have been subject to an illegal search and seizure may be able to file a lawsuit against law enforcement or government officials for violating their constitutional rights.

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Last Modified: 03/06/2023


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