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Searching Your Home After an Arrest

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When you're arrested in your home, a limited search by the police is permissible.

Police may search the person arrested and the area within that person’s immediate control. Immediate control is interpreted broadly to include any place a suspect may lunge to obtain a weapon. If the alleged crime is particularly violent, or if the police have reason to believe other armed suspects may be in the residence, the police may do a protective sweep to search any place such accomplices may be hiding. Also, while they are making a lawful arrest or protective sweep, the police may typically search and seize anything that is in plain view and appears to be related to criminal activity.

What Are Felonies, Misdemeanors, and Infractions?

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Getting Tricked Into Giving Consent to a Police Search

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Getting Tricked Into Giving Consent to a Police Search

Your consent to search must be freely given. A police officer's fraud or deceit will often destroy any consent you may have given.

To constitute a valid consent to search, the consent must be given “freely and voluntarily.” If a police officer wrangles consent through trickery or coercion, the consent does not validate the search. (But see Is police deception always legal?) Often, a defendant challenges a search on the grounds that consent was not voluntary, only to have a police officer testify to a conflicting version of events that establishes valid consent. In these conflict situations, judges tend to believe police officers unless defendants can support their claims through the testimony of other witnesses.

Using a Gun for Self Defense: Laws and Consequences

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Illegal Dumping: Laws & Penalties


Sex Offense Appeals

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By Ave Mince-Didier

Preservation of Evidence in Criminal Cases

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Law enforcement officers and prosecutors have a duty to preserve certain kinds of evidence. Learn what they have to keep, and what happens when they don't keep it.

The government has a duty to preserve certain types of evidence it collects during criminal investigations and prosecutions. This duty exists in order to protect a defendant’s rights to due process and a fair trial under the Sixth and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The duty relates to the requirement that the government disclose evidence it will use against the defendant at trial, as well as any evidence that is favorable to the defendant. The duty to preserve evidence begins once any state agency or actor has gathered and taken possession of evidence as part of a criminal investigation.

House Arrest & How To Request It

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Updated by Attorney

What is House Arrest?

House arrest involves being confined to your primary residence rather than going to prison or juvenile detention.  Seen as a more affordable alternative to traditional imprisonment, especially for less dangerous offenders, house arrest allows offenders to earn income, maintain family and other relationships, and attend necessary probation appointments and rehabilitation treatment.  Home confinement can also involve curfews, where offenders must be home by a certain hour, and when they are not permitted to go out in the dark.

Falsely Accused of a Crime

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If you're being investigated for or charged with a crime you did not commit, you should take immediate steps to protect yourself.

Fruit of the Poisonous Tree

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Evidence derived from illegal police actions is generally inadmissible.

You might know that evidence the cops find during an illegal search of you or your belongings is probably inadmissible in criminal court. You might also know that the prosecution typically can’t use something you’ve said to the police if officers violated your rights in obtaining the statement (for example, by coercing it out of you).

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