Many different acts constitute criminal offenses in Illinois. In order to convict someone of a crime, however, there must be evidence that proves he or she committed the act. This proof often comes from items, fingerprints, or photographs taken at the scene of the alleged crime. The most common reason why evidence is suppressed, and charges are reduced or dismissed altogether, is due to an illegal search and seizure by police. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you determine if the evidence in your case was obtained through a legal search warrant.
Different Types of Search Warrants
The Federal Constitution’s Fourth Amendment gives Americans the right to “reasonable” search and seizures of a person and his or her property. The fundamental purpose of this legislation is to protect citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures by governmental officials.
The goal of a search warrant is to establish probable cause that evidence of a crime is likely to be found in the location to be searched.
Illinois search warrants can be based on the below information or sources:
Anonymous Tip: When a person calls the police with details related to an alleged crime without giving his or her name, that is considered anonymous. It can also be sent through the postal service into the police station. In order for the warrant to establish probable cause, the police must corroborate the information that the tipster provided. If law enforcement cannot confirm the details, a judge must substantiate the reliability of the tip.
Confidential Informant: This kind of warrant uses information provided by a person who is known only to the police. The person’s identity is not disclosed to the judge nor to the defense attorney. Law enforcement officials must have a history of reliable information provided by this informant in order to use his or her information.
John Doe: In some cases, information comes from an individual who is not named in the search warrant. However, the police and the judge know the identity of the informant. The presiding judge can determine the informant’s credibility through an in-person meeting.
Citizen Informant: This type of warrant is based on information from a person who is identified by the police in the search warrant. Because it is based on a named citizen, it presumes a certain degree of reliability.
Investigative: Information or evidence comes from the results of a police investigation. Police officers have the same presumption of reliability as a citizen informant.
Contact a DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyer
Being arrested and charged with any criminal offense can be a frightening and intimidating experience. Your first instinct might be to panic, but it is possible that evidence was obtained illegally without a valid search warrant. If you believe you are wrongfully accused, or your rights were violated, a seasoned Itasca criminal law attorney can help you navigate the legal process. Whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges, the skilled legal team at Mencini Law Firm will build a strong defense and aggressively fight for your rights to a fair trial. To schedule a confidential consultation, call our office today at 630-875-1700.