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Defending Against Evidence Obtained Through a Search Warrant in Texas

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Collin County criminal defense attorney

In many cases involving drug possession, weapons possession, and theft, the State of Texas relies on evidence obtained through a search warrant in order to establish the defendant’s guilt. If an officer approaches you with a warrant, you may fear that a guilty verdict is inevitable, but this is not always the case. With the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney, you may be able to contest the admission of evidence seized in the search and prevent it from influencing the outcome of your case.

Understanding Your Fourth Amendment Rights

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects citizens and their property from unreasonable search and seizure. It states that warrants may not be issued without probable cause supported by a sworn affirmation and that they must describe the specific place to be searched and the items to be seized. The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure includes provisions to ensure that warrants are issued and executed in compliance with the Fourth Amendment, and if those provisions are not upheld, your rights may be in violation.

Contesting the Admission of Evidence

In preparation for your trial, your attorney will thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the search and seizure of your property to identify any impropriety. You may be able to contest the admission of evidence obtained through the warrant for one of the following reasons:

  • A lack of probable cause: Your attorney may be able to argue that the police officer requesting the warrant did not have probable cause to believe that a crime was committed or that evidence could be found on the property in question.

  • A falsified affidavit: Law enforcement officers requesting a warrant must submit a sworn affidavit supporting the existence of probable cause, and if the affidavit includes falsified information, the evidence obtained may be inadmissible.

  • Processing errors: Texas law requires officers and courts to follow specific procedures when filing the affidavit and returning and securing seized evidence. An error committed in the process could compromise the warrant or the evidence obtained. 

  • The seizing of property other than what the warrant specifies: In most cases, a police officer may only seize the kind of evidence specifically described in the issued warrant. Evidence is likely inadmissible if it does not pertain to the crime that the officer had probable cause to suspect.

  • Execution errors: Police officers are also required to follow certain procedures in executing the search. For example, they must complete it within a specified time frame and generally must present the property owner with the warrant and a written inventory of property to be seized. Improper execution may mean that the evidence obtained is not admissible.

Contact a Frisco Criminal Defense Attorney

At the Law Offices of Biederman & Burleson, P.L.L.C., we are well-versed in Texas criminal procedure, and we have the experience to recognize errors and violations of a defendant’s rights. We will work hard to prevent the admission of improperly obtained evidence in your trial so that the jury is not unduly influenced and you stand a better chance of acquittal or reduced charges. Contact a Collin County criminal defense lawyer today at 469-333-3333 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.constituteproject.org/constitution/United_States_of_America_1992

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/CR/htm/CR.18.htm

 

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