Category Archives: search and seizure

CAN POLICE SEARCH MY MOUTH DURING A STOP?

According to Illinois law, the answer is probably not–especially if the police used force. In People v. Augusta, defendant was stopped for failure to signal when turning. The officer asked defendant if he had something in his mouth, which defendant … Continue reading

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CAN POLICE USE A DOG TO SEARCH OUTSIDE MY MOTEL ROOM WITHOUT A WARRANT?

UPDATED: August 4, 2020 You are staying at a motel. You heard some people with a dog outside your room, but you thought nothing of it. A little while later, the police were at your door. The dog you heard … Continue reading

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CAN POLICE SEARCH THE HALLWAY OF YOUR APARTMENT BUILDING?

The Fourth Amendment guarantees citizens the right to be free from unlawful searches. Therefore, an officer cannot enter your home without a warrant unless some exception to the warrant requirement—such as consent—exists. Court have also recognized that a certain area … Continue reading

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SEARCH INCIDENT TO ARREST: HOW FAR CAN IT GO?

When police arrest you, they are permitted to make a search incident to the arrest. But the search must still be within certain limits. How far a search may go is fact specific, and different judges may see the circumstances … Continue reading

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DID I CONSENT TO A SEARCH? THE VOLUNTARY CONSENT EXCEPTION TO THE WARRANT REQUIREMENT IN ILLINOIS

When the police knocked at your door, your roommate opened the door. The police walked in, spotted some contraband and now you are under arrest. Did your roommate consent to the search? The Fourth Amendment requires that police obtain a … Continue reading

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CAN ILLINOIS POLICE STOP ME JUST BECAUSE I HAVE A GUN?

Updated 12/16/19 The answer is probably not. On September 12, 2013, the Illinois Supreme Cort in People v. Aguilar partially struck down the law that barred possession of a handgun for self-defense outside the home. Thus, the mere fact you … Continue reading

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CAN YOU REFUSE TO GIVE A DNA SAMPLE IN AN ILLINOIS CRIMINAL CASE?

Generally, the answer is yes. Under Illinois case law, extracting your DNA is a search within the Fourth Amendment. Therefore, police must have either a warrant or probable cause before forcing you to submit it. Otherwise, you may voluntarily refuse … Continue reading

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THE OFFICER WAS WRONG ABOUT ILLINOIS LAW! CAN HE STILL ARREST ME?

The police are charged with enforcing the law. But what if they misunderstand that law? What if the officer stops you based on his or her mistaken belief about what the law really means? Will a judge allow the evidence … Continue reading

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CAN POLICE USE A NARCOTICS DOG TO SNIFF OUTSIDE YOUR HOME IN ILLINOIS?

If you’re stopped while driving a car, the police can use a dog to sniff for drugs around your car provided the search does not unduly prolong the traffic stop. But can the police use a dog to sniff around … Continue reading

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CAN RUNNING FROM POLICE BE GROUNDS FOR ARREST IN ILLINOIS?

You like to walk at night. A police officer thought your presence late at night was suspicious so he stopped you. You didn’t want him to find the concealed weapon or the cocaine in your pocket, so you ran. Now … Continue reading

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