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Motions to Suppress


The Fourth Amendment guarantees citizens protection against illegal searches and seizure. A search of an area where you have a reasonable expectation of privacy must be supported by a search warrant. The search warrant must be signed by a magistrate and supported by probable cause that the instrumentality of a crime will be found at the specific place to be searched. However, there are numerous exceptions to the warrant requirement.



Police may search areas where the custodian gives free and voluntary consent for them to search.

Exigent/ emergency circumstance

Police may make entry to a building or structure and seize evidence in view when there is a risk of serious injury to a person or to prevent the imminent destruction of evidence.

Plain view

If police see incriminating evidence in plain view during the scope of a lawful stop, they may seize it without a search warrant.

Search incident to lawful arrest

If police are making a lawful arrest, the may search areas within the person's immediate control. The justification for this exception is that it necessary for the officer's safety.

Automobile exception

If police have probable cause that the instrumentality of a crime is inside an automobile, they may search it without first obtaining a warrant. In addition, the vehicle must be mobile. For example, if a car is broken down or out of gas, it is not considered mobile and a warrant would be required. 

Inventory search

Police may search an impounded vehicle according to established department policies with the objectives being to safeguard the defendant's property and to safeguard the police against allegations of theft. Evidence found may be used against the defendant. 

If evidence was seized where you had a reasonable expectation of privacy and was not supported by a valid search warrant or fell under a valid warrantless exception, your attorney should file a motion to suppress. If your attorney is successful, that evidence will not be allowed to be used against you in court, which in many cases, destroys the prosecution's case.


There is no time to waste if you are facing criminal charges. Contact criminal lawyer Alex Laird today to schedule a free consultation where we will discuss your case in full detail and begin preparing your defense.