Search & Seizure
Search & Seizure Law
The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article 14 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights protects all citizens from unlawful and unwarranted searches and seizures. This means that law enforcement officials are prohibited from conducting a search and seizure of your body, home, or property unless:
- They have probable cause to believe an illegal activity is occurring, or
- They have a court-issued search warrant
If a police officer, state trooper, or a state or federal law enforcement official searches your property without a valid search warrant or without probable cause, any evidence he/she collects cannot be used against you in court.
If you have been arrested after a law enforcement official conducted a search and seizure of your home, body, or property, and you were consequently arrested, it’s important to contact an experienced Boston criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. In these types of situations time is of the essence! Massachusetts criminal defense attorney Stephen Neyman will review your case and immediately begin investigating the actions leading up to your arrest. If he suspects the police or investigative agency acted illegally or unlawfully in searching you or your property he will bring it to the attention of the judge, and argue to have the evidence dismissed from court.
Motions to Suppress: The Best Weapon You Have to Attack an Illegal Search and Seizure in Massachusetts
Any experienced criminal defense lawyer will tell you that there is not better tool for attacking the district attorney’s case than through a motion to suppress evidence. Anytime there is a stop, or a search, or a seizure that first thing that we think of is the legality of the police action. If the search was conducted pursuant to a search warrant we find ways to attack the affidavit that was filed to obtain the search warrant. If there was no warrant we look to see if one should have been applied for. We will visit the scene to determine if the representations of the police officer are supported by the surrounding environment; i.e. could he really have seen what he says he saw or was he in fact lying and conducting his search improperly? Successful motions to suppress result in the exclusion of evidence. Usually, without that evidence the district attorney cannot proceed with his case. In other words, the case will get dismissed.
Contact Boston, Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney
The right you have against unlawful searches and seizures should never be violated! If state or federal law enforcement officials have violated your constitutional rights, Attorney Stephen Neyman will stand up for your rights and vigorously defend you in court. Mr. Neyman is has over 20 years of experience handling cases involving search and seizure law, and has successfully defended countless clients with cases of this nature throughout his career. As a highly skilled and experienced Boston criminal defense attorney, Mr. Neyman will aggressively contest any evidence submitted by the prosecution that was obtained during an unlawful search and seizure. Mr. Neyman is 100% committed to protecting your rights, fighting your charges, and helping you win your case!
If you require the services of an experienced, dependable, and knowledgeable Boston, Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer with a thorough understanding of state and federal search and seizure laws, please contact the Law Offices of Stephen Neyman for a free consultation at (617) 263-6800 or contact us online.
Dudley District Court: Motion to Suppress Stop Search and Seizure of Drugs Allowed
On February 7, 2018 a Sturbridge Police Sergeant stopped a vehicle being driven by our client for a marked lanes violation and an expired inspection sticker. The officer observed our client and his passenger make furtive movements prior to the stop suggesting to him that the occupants were either retrieving or concealing weapons or illicit substances. The driver and passenger were ordered to exit the car. They were searched. The car was searched. The passenger's pocketbook was searched. The trunk was searched. The officer found a knife and drugs in the pocketbook and trunk of the car. Both individuals were charged with possession with intent to distribute a class C drug, G.L. c. 94C Section 32B and conspiracy to violate the Massachusetts drug laws, G.L. c. 94C Section 40, both felonies. Attorney Neyman filed a motion to suppress challenging the legality of the stop, search and seizure. The grounds for the motion were the illegality of the exit order, the unlawful pat frisk of the defendants and the unlawful search of the vehicle and its contents including the pocketbook. Today, the judge allowed the motion. The evidence cannot be used against the defendants.
Read More in Search and Seizure
Motion to suppress illegal search and seizure of car and occupants allowed
Worcester District Court: On June 2, 2011, police were patrolling a parking lot as a result of several reports of drug activity. While doing so, officers saw a truck pull into the lot and noticed that no one exited the truck for about 5 minutes. The officers then saw another car pull into the lot and park to the left of the truck. One officer recognized the car as belonging to our client, claimed by the officer to be a known drug dealer. The officer had observed our client in the past conducting brief transactions in parking lots consistent with the appearance of drug deals. An occupant of the truck entered the passenger's side of our client's car, and police approached the two. The officer saw our client holding a $100 bill and ordered him to put his hands on the wheel, after which he saw drugs in the passenger's lap and in the center console and control panel. After search of our client and the car, our client was charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine, distribution of oxycodone and oxymorphone, possession of cocaine, a school zone violation, and conspiracy. Denise Dolan of our office moved to suppress on the grounds that the search and seizure was in violation of our client's constitutional rights. The motion was allowed and the drugs were suppressed.
Motion to Suppress Search conducted pursuant to a search warrant allowed after hearing
West Roxbury District Court: On July 30, 2010 members of the Boston Police Department applied for, obtained and executed a search pursuant to a warrant. Their target was a local college student. The officer who applied for the search warrant had information from one of his informants that the student was selling cocaine out of his apartment. At the direction of the police, the confidential informant engaged in some controlled purchases of cocaine. The identity of the seller was quickly learned as was his apartment location. The police believed that he kept a supply of drugs at the apartment. The search was conducted. During the course of the search police officers found cocaine, packaging materials and marijuana. The defendant was charged with Possession With the Intent to Distribute Class B and Class D drugs and a School Zone Violation. Attorney Neyman succeeded in convincing the judge that the search was unconstitutional and the fruits of the search were suppressed. The case will likely be dismissed next month.