Search and Seizure Chapters

Street Encounters With Police

No area of search and seizure has caused more confusion than that of street encounters with the police where the officer acts on less than probable cause. Courts assess these encounters pursuant to People v DeBour and its four levels of police interaction.


An arrest is the most intrusive action a police officer may take with respect to a citizen. Once a lawful arrest is established, a number of consequences will occur involvingthe search for evidence and the recovery of contraband.

Searches and Search Warrants

When a citizen has a reasonable expectation of privacy, the invasion of that privacy constitutes a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. Many searches without a warrant are unconstitutional.

Automobile Stops and Searches

The searches of automobiles and the seizure of evidence is a topic that has caused great confusion in the courts. There are different legal principles that apply to the stop of an automobile and the interaction with the driver and occupants as well as the search of the car itself.

Motions to Suppress and Suppression Hearings

There are many legal principles that apply to suppression motions and the ability of an "aggrieved" person to move to suppress evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment.