In recent posts, we’ve been looking at the issue of search and seizure law in light of the increasing use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement agencies across the United States. Last time, we looked at several possible scenarios where law enforcement might mishandle the search warrant aspect of a criminal investigation.
In any criminal case where search warrant requirements are violated—whether by failing to obtain a warrant, having an inadequate basis for a warrant, or failing to properly execute a warrant—it is critical for the criminal defendant to work with an experienced defense attorney to protect his or her rights and take advantage of protections built into the criminal process.
One of the remedies that may be available to criminal defendants in cases where there are search warrant violations is to file a motion to suppress the introduction of evidence which has been illegally obtained by law enforcement officers. This remedy, known as the exclusionary rule, is not one that a criminal court will grant of its own accord. It must be requested by the criminal defendant and his or her attorney.
Under the exclusionary rule, a court may suppress not only evidence as a direct result of a violation of the warrant requirement, but also evidence which results from an illegal search. The exclusionary rule may be applied not only in cases where law enforcement conducted an unlawful search and seizure, but in other cases as well.
In our next post, we’ll continue looking at this issue, as well as some of the exceptions to the rule and the importance of working with an experienced advocate to take advantage of such protections.