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Privacy rights preserved- Reversing crabbed Virginia Supreme Ct. opinion

Fairfax criminal lawyer celebrates SCOTUS's keeping some teeth in the Fourth Amendment. Privacy rights are critical to criminal defense, including the essential Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures and against warrantless searches that require search warrants only issued upon probable cause. As a...

A cop needs probable cause to say s/he will search

A cop needs probable cause to say s/he will search a suspect or the suspect's property. If the suspect responds by consenting to a search, handing over contraband or telling where the contraband will be found, the Defendant may still challenge whether the police officer...

Virginia criminal & drug defense – Limits on challenging hotel room searches

Behind the seemingly innocent exteriors of plenty of hotels lie illegal drug possession and illegal drug transactions. Unless the hotel is knowingly receiving payola for such activity, the hotel can be expected to seek police intervention to stop the activity. Abdul Lateef Salahuddin learned that...

Fourth Circuit hits a double header for the Fourth Amendment

Yesterday, the Fourth Circuit reversed a drug conviction for no reasonable suspicion to seize the defendant in the first place. This week became the Fourth Circuit’s Fourth Amendment-protecting double header when the Fourth Circuit affirmed the suppression of everything found in a suspect’s car subsequent to...

Virginia Supreme Court rules 4-3 on the wrong side of the law for exigent searches

Praised be the three Virginia Supreme Court justices who on September 17, 2015, dissented from the four-justice majority that affirmed a warrantless apartment search purportedly conducted pursuant to exigent circumstances. Evans v. Virginia, , ___ Va. ___ (Sept. 17, 2015). The search found a substantial...

Virginia- Police may not inventory-search cars with unfettered discretion

When police claim the accused possessed contraband, a key path of attack is to seek to suppress evidence of the seizure and search that turned up the alleged contraband. Praised be Virginia’s intermediate appellate court for recently overturning a contraband-bearing car inventory search, because: “[W]e...