Illegal Search & Seizure


Article 1, Section 9 of the Oregon Constitution protects citizens from "unreasonable"searches and seizures by the police or other state agents. To be deemed a reasonable search or seizure, the police must have either obtained a judicially issued search warrant, or in the case of a warrantless search, be able to establish in court that there was probable cause to believe a crime had been committed, and that the subject search or seizure was authorized by a constitutionally recognized exception to the warrant requirement. The burden of proof is upon the government to prove that any evidence seized or later derived through a warrantless search was lawfully obtained, or it is subject to being suppressed from evidence in any related prosecution. This usually results in the dismissal of all charges related to the unlawfully obtained evidence.

Search warrant searches and seizures result from the authority of a search warrant issued by a judicial officer based upon a sworn statement submitted by a police office establishing probable cause to believe that items lawfully subject to seizure will be found in the places sought to be searched. Defending search warrant searches is very complex and requires the defendant to prove that the police officer's sworn statement was not legally sufficient to establish probable cause, or had some other defect. However, where the search warrant is found by a reviewing court to be invalid, all evidence seized or later derived from the search warrant's execution is subject to suppression, again usually resulting in the dismissal of all criminal charges related to the subject unlawful searches and seizures. Effective use of search and seizure law wins criminal cases.

Attorney David A. Hill stays up to date on recent opinions by the Oregon Supreme Court and Court of Appeals that relate to search and seizure law, and utilizes this legal knowledge to effectively defend those very complex cases that involve illegal police searches and seizures.
For an attorney that is willing and able to help you, call David A. Hill. (541) 683-4808