Our Constitutional protection from illegal searches and arrests is one of our most important rights and a cornerstone of the American legal system. In order to make a search or arrest, police officers must have reason to suspect a crime is being committed. The term “probable cause” refers to the standard police officers are held to in determining whether to act. If you have been the victim of an illegal search or arrest, an experienced Champaign defense lawyer can help you.
The phrase “probable cause” is derived from the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. In brief, everyone in the United States is protected from “unreasonable searches,” and no warrants can be issued without “probable cause” and a description of who or what is to be searched or taken. Since the text of the Amendment is so short, literally millions of pages have been written since the 1790s to try to clarify what the words “unreasonable searches” and “probable cause” mean.
As you can imagine, exactly what is “unreasonable” or “probable” depends heavily on the circumstances. That is why the help of a defense lawyer is indispensable for anyone who has been illegally searched or arrested by the police.
If you have been searched or arrested, and you believe the police did not have probable cause, you are entitled to challenge the legality of the search or arrest before you are even formally charged with a crime. To discuss your case directly with an experienced Champaign criminal defense lawyer, contact the Bruno Law Offices today at (217) 328-6000.