San Diego Criminal Defense Lawyer Explains How to REFUSE a Search

Fourth Amendment LawyerSD Unreasonable Search & Seizure Lawyer
One of the most common ways that police are able to side-step the Fourth Amendment's guarantee that citizens will be free free of unreasonable intrusion into our private lives, is the obtain the "consent" of a person that they intend to search.  Consent is a word with two very different applications and two very different definitions in criminal law.  On the one hand, consent of a victim in sex crimes or kidnapping cases requires that the consent truly be voluntary.  Unfortunately, our criminal justice system is not so strict with its definition of consent given to law enforcement for a search.  Police regularly lie and threaten citizens in order to obtain coerced consent to search.  Officers are trained to use scare tactics, false information, going as far as threatening suspects with having their children taken away.  As such, it is absolutely vital that citizens know, understand, assert and protect their rights.

Don't fall for the lies.  If a police officer tells you that he/she will get a warrant, get a dog or get a statement from another witness, let them go and do so.  The officer is likely looking for an easy way out, hoping to get consent to search or a confession of a crime.  If citizens learned not to cooperate with the investigation against you, the police would be much less successful at making arrests, and making arrests that lead to successful prosecution.  If a police officer has engaged you in a police encounter, you may be free to leave.  Ask.

Decline to be searched.  Make it very clear to any officers involved that you do not give them consent to search your person, your belongings, your car or your home.  This involves both announcing that to the officers, as well as resisting their attempts to coerce your cooperation and "consent".  Police do not always ask for permission to search, and take the liberty of doing so.  While you certainly should not physically restrain the officer in any way, it is important to make your lack of consent known. 

Film the police.  This is controversial.  Many believe that filming police officers only inflames them, and this might be true for some officers.  Still, this newly widely available technology is our number one way to protect our safety and our rights from police.  Film preserves evidence, including evidence of your lack of consent to be searched.  Without objective evidence, an argument that your Fourth Amendment rights were violated may have to rely on the officer's account of what happened (note: the officer who violated your rights will lie about it). 

Knowing and asserting your rights during a police encounter can mean the difference between being arrested and going home, being charged or not, or being convicted or acquitted.  The founders and framers of our nation placed a tremendous importance on our right to be free from unreasonable searches.  They would be truly devastated by the state of law enforcement in the US today. 

OTHER SEARCH AND SEIZURE TOPICS
STOP & FRISK SEARCHES OF PERSONS
CONSENT SEARCHES
HOW TO SUPPRESS EVIDENCE
SEARCHES OF VEHICLES & EFFECTS
WHEN DO POLICE NEED A WARRANT?

WHAT CONSTITUTES A SEARCH?

If you or a loved one has been arrested or charged with a crime in San Diego, you will need skilled, passionate, experienced representation on your side.  Contact our office now for a Free Consultation with a San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney.  619-930-9515.

Nicholas M. Loncar, Esq.
San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney
San Diego DUI Lawyer
www.iDefendSanDiego.com
T: 619-930-9515
F:
619-930-9516
By Nicholas Loncar         
 


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