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Chicago criminal defense attorneyA large number of criminal cases—particularly those involving illicit drugs or illegal firearms—hinge on the evidence seized by law enforcement during searches. A police search of your property, including your home or car, with very few exceptions, requires one of two things: your voluntary consent or a properly obtained search warrant issued by a judge. It is almost never a good idea for you to allow a warrantless search of your property to proceed. At the same time, if the police have obtained a search warrant, you must be careful not to interfere with the search.

How Is a Search Warrant Issued?

According to the Illinois Constitution and Criminal Code, a search warrant can be issued by a judge on the basis of probable cause. Unlike many other states, Illinois allows a warrant to be issued “upon the written complaint of any person under oath or affirmation.” This means that a judge does not need to wait for a sworn affidavit from a law enforcement officer. Any private citizen can provide a sworn statement that identifies the person and/or place that should be searched and things that should be seized.

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Chicago criminal defense attorneyWhen you think of a police search, you may picture law enforcement officers going through your personal belongings looking for illegal drugs, unlicensed firearms, and other evidence that could be used against you in a criminal proceeding. This scenario is certainly one type of police search, and one that generally requires a warrant or your express permission, but there are other types of searches as well.

An Important Question

One of these is a type of search that our founding fathers could never have foreseen when drafting the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as it involves modern digital technology. Thus, two years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court was tasked with determining whether the search of a person’s cell phone constitutes a search as defined by the Fourth Amendment and whether a warrant in necessary to allow such a search.

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rights when arrested in illinois, chicago criminal defense attorneyOnce you experience an arrest, the events that immediately follow the incident can be a blur, especially when the reality of facing criminal charges comes crashing down on you. The weight of such circumstances can be overwhelming, to say the least. Whether the accusation is a false one, you were in the wrong place at the wrong time, or you made a poor choice in the moment, being escorted to prison with long-lasting consequences on the horizon can seriously alter your present as well as your future.

Arrest Aftermath

What happens when the damage is done and there is no rewind button? Once you have been arrested and accused of a crime, your options are limited. You may not be able to take back the choices you made or change the circumstances surrounding the arrest, but you do have the ability to inform yourself of your basic rights and claim those liberties to the best of your ability in an effort to protect your best interests. 

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criminal defense in illinois, Chicago criminal lawyersWhenever a citizen experiences an arrest, the initial fear of facing criminal charges of any kind typically prompts them to request to speak with an attorney right away. Ideally, this should always be the first course of action. Consulting with a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer can be one of the most crucial decisions you make when accused of a crime,. The sooner you acquire proper legal representation, the sooner you can safeguard your rights, build a strong case, and protect your future.

In the event you are arrested, here are three valid reasons you should consult with an attorney:

1. You may be wrongly accused.

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what to do when you are arrested, Chicago criminal defense lawyersThe moments that lead up to an arrest can be disorienting; the sequence of events often blurs together, spawning a state of shock and confusion as you process the fact that you will possibly face criminal charges for your actions. Even if you sense the arrest coming, the moment law enforcement begins to read your rights and take you into custody, reality begins to surface and you can quickly succumb to panic mode if you do not know how to handle the situation. This is especially the case when you believe you have been wrongly accused. 

Due to the stressful nature of an arrest, many individuals who are confronted with the possibility of criminal charges tend to freeze up the minute they are accused of a crime. Some act out in anger, out of fear, or from sheer disbelief that they are being taken into custody. During those moments when emotions run high, irrational and aggressive behavior can take over, which can easily make the situation worse and hurt your overall case in a court of law.

What to Avoid the Moment You are Placed Under Arrest

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