Warrantless police searches are commonplace. As a Fairfax, Virginia criminal lawyer I fully dissect the circumstances of police searches, to challenge any Fourth Amendment search and seizure violations.
Warrantless police searches need to be challenged, says Fairfax criminal lawyer
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides:
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
Virginia criminal lawyer on police chases of fleeing suspects
Richmond City, Virginia police in 2015 were patrolling a high-crime area, when one of them saw Thomas Reed Roberts, who matched the description of a robbery suspect in neighboring Chesterfield County. The police officer saw Roberts knock on a guest door at a motel with posted signs not to trespass. Unfortunately, Roberts made the police officer’s job easier by answering affirmatively that Roberts was not a hotel guest. Virginia v. Roberts, Record No. 1265-16-2 (Va. App., Dec. 12, 2017) (unpublished).
Running from the police can be support a police seizure, and search of property held by a criminal suspect, says Fairfax criminal lawyer
When the police officer got out of his car to get more information, Roberts ran away. Police then chased Roberts, who fell. “The officer handcuffed him and pulled [Roberts] to his feet. Officer Duane saw that the appellant was ‘clutch[ing]’ a ‘folded’ ‘paper lottery ticket’.” Roberts.
Roberts upholds the police seizure of the folded paper (containing cocaine) not as a justified search incident to arrest, but instead because Roberts matched the robbery suspect’s description and because Roberts engaged in “headlong flight”, which Roberts characterizes as “‘the consummate act of evasion’ and is ‘certainly suggestive’ of ‘wrongdoing.'” Roberts, quoting Illinois v. Wardlow, 528 U.S. 119, 124 (2000).
Roberts upholds the seizure of the Roberts and the police unfolding of the paper-wrapped cocaine seized from Roberts, as supported by probable cause.
Fairfax, Virginia, criminal lawyer Jonathan L. Katz has successfully defended hundreds of drug defendants, and repeatedly brings Fourth Amendment challenges against police searches and seizures. To discuss your case with Jon, please call his staff at 703-383-1100, to schedule a confidential appointment.