How do I fight back if I was illegally searched by police?

Milwaukee is a diverse city with a history and stigma of law enforcement treating certain populations with tactics that are questionable at best. Depending on your racial and economic background, you may find yourself facing very unfair charges, especially when it comes to drug charges.

In recent years, many people have found compelling arguments that the War on Drugs does not treat all suspects equally, and regularly serves as the justification to mistreat certain populations, especially underprivileged people of color. While there are certainly cities with more severe conflicts between law enforcement and economically disadvantaged communities, Milwaukee has more than its fair share of unfair practices in law enforcement.

If you believe that police mistreated you during a recent interaction, and especially if you believe that they unlawfully searched you, it is very important to seek professional legal advice. Depending on the facts of your experience, you may pursue a number of defenses, but you must take action to protect yourself and your future.

Legal searches under the law

According to the Fourth Amendment of the constitution, all people in America should enjoy protection against unreasonable search and seizure, but in today's social and political climate, what is unreasonable seems to be a vast grey area.

If, for instance, an officer stops you while driving, he or she cannot legally search your vehicle without either a warrant or probable cause. Probable cause means that they must have a reason to believe that you have something illegal in your car or on your person. This might mean that they smell marijuana, or see drugs or drug paraphernalia in plain sight in the vehicle.

However, if the car does not smell like drugs and there are no visible indications of drugs within the vehicle, and if you do not display behavior that suggests you are high, then they probably do not have probable cause.

In other instances, an officer may attempt to keep you at the scene of a stop so that a canine unit can arrive to sniff your vehicle. The officer should not unreasonably extend your interaction if there is no reason to do so.

Fight for your future with a strong defense

If you believe that you received unfair charges because an officer of the law broke the law they are sworn to uphold, you should consult with a defense attorney.

Fighting for your rights not only protects your future and your privileges, it also helps to protect the rights and privileges of others who do not or cannot fight for themselves.

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