Under the Fourth Amendment, police may only search your home if they have a warrant. However, there are exceptions to this requirement. One exception is that you consented to the search. But what if your consent was based on an officer’s lie?

The Illinois Appellate Court held that the end does not justify the means where an officer told a defendant that he would go to jail unless he agreed to a search. Consent to a search must be voluntary. To determine if your consent was voluntary, the court looks at all the circumstances. Important factors can include if you initially refused the consent and if the officer lied.

In People v Wall, the officer induced the defendant to return home from work by saying he was investigating a possible break-in. Once home, the defendant asked if the officer had a search warrant, which the court interpreted as refusing consent. The officer then told defendant he would go to jail if he did not consent to the search, but if he consented, he would not go to jail. All statements were false. Therefore, the court suppressed the results of the search.

If you are charged with a crime, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for its best possible defense. If the police acted illegally, an attorney may petition the court to throw out the results of any improper police conduct.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

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