Search & Seizure
In many criminal cases, particularly those involving drugs or controlled substances, guns or firearms, or any search for evidence related to a crime, police often search and seize evidence of the alleged crime from your person, home, car, or property. The seizure of evidence can arise in the context of a 'warrantless search' or one where a Search Warrant was obtained.
In a large percentage of my cases involving drug possession, possession with intent to distribute, trafficking of drugs, and firearms offenses, there is almost always a Search & Seizure issue to litigate before trial. When challenging unlawful searches and seizures of evidence, my goal is to convince a Judge that the police violated my clients' Constitutional Rights, and as a result, the particular evidence seized should be 'suppressed', or excluded from the case. If evidence is 'suppressed' and not admissible at trial, that could often lead to the entire case being dismissed if there is no other evidence the prosecutor can link the defendant to the crime.
If you have been subject to a search of your person or property by law enforcement or any government official, there are certain rights that protect you from 'unlawful searches and seizures.' The 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution, and Article 14 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights prohibit the police or government officials from searching your body, vehicle or property unless they have:
- Probable Cause to believe you are engaging in unlawful or illegal activity; or
- Secured a Search a Warrant specifically delineating the place to be searched and the evidence they are searching for.
Unlawful searches and seizures can also lead to other Constitutional violations of your rights, such as impermissible police practices in the context of any identification of you as the alleged perpetrator of the crime, custodial interrogations or any alleged statements you might have made. In many criminal cases, police and prosecutors will try to use whatever you say as evidence against you at trial. Although some statements might seem innocent, in the context of an entire case, the prosecutor will try to use any statements that might be considered an 'admission' as evidence of guilt against you at trial.
For this reason, it is important for you to know that if the police are investigating criminal activity and want to question you, you should know and understand your Miranda Rights. Under Miranda, you must be warned that you have a right to:
- Remain silent.
- Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law.
- That you have a right to the presence of your attorney before and during any questioning.
- If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you prior to any questioning.
Because your whole defense on a criminal charge may rise and fall on very technical Constitutional issues of law on the issues whether the police violated your rights, it is critical that you speak with a criminal lawyer who has experience in challenging unlawful searches and seizures. Your freedom and beating your case may simply depend on your criminal defense attorney's knowledge of Massachusetts Constitutional Law, his ability to cross–examine police officers, and his persuasiveness in convincing a Judge to rule on your side on the issues.
Massachusetts Criminal Attorney Lefteris K. Travayiakis has extensive experience and success in challenging and winning suppression motions in a variety of cases, including those involving drugs, firearms, statements and identifications.
To schedule a Free Consultation with a Massachusetts Search & Seizure Lawyer and discuss your case, e–mail Attorney Lefteris K. Travayiakis at or call 617–325–9500.