Federal Laws on Searches and Seizures

The U.S. Constitution protects every person’s right to privacy and ensures that no person has money or property taken without due process of the law. In certain circumstances, however, problems arise in connection with searches.

This could occur due to resistance when a lawfully executed search warrant is being executed, or those who are executing a search warrant could overstep their bounds and violate the rights of suspects.

Sometimes, the problems that arise in connection with searches and seizures can actually result in federal criminal charges. If and when this occurs, LV Criminal Defense is here to help. Our federal criminal defense attorneys represent clients in Arizona, California, Utah, Nevada, Oregon, and surrounding areas. We provide assertive, knowledgeable legal representation in any circumstances where you have been charged with a federal offense and your future is at stake.

Determining how to respond to charges can make or break your case, so you should reach out to our firm as soon as possible so we can begin working with you to conduct an investigation, gather and evaluate evidence, and determine the best approach for your situation. We provide representation in court and during plea negotiations and we also provide help in getting evidence suppressed and fighting to get criminal charges dropped.

Don’t take a chance on a bad outcome of your case by not getting the right legal help from day one when a problem arises with searches and seizures. Reach out to LV Criminal Defense today to get a committed advocate on your side who will navigate the justice system with you and keep focused on the goal of helping you to avoid penalties or minimize consequences.

Federal Laws on Searches and Seizures

While the U.S. Constitution is the guiding document that determines the rights of defendants when it comes to searches and seizures, there are other applicable laws as well that fill in the specifics regarding when a search and seizure is appropriate and what types of behaviors are unlawful in connection with searches and seizures.

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For example, 18 U.S. Code Chapter 109 defines certain types of behavior as criminal that relate to searches and seizures,. There are a total of seven different statutes in Chapter 109 that set fort the consequences of unlawful activity connected to searches and seizures. Those statutes include:

  • 18 U.S. Code section 2231 – Assault or resistance: This statute imposes three years of imprisonment for a defendant convicted of resisting, opposing, preventing, impeding, or intimidating an official performing his duties to carry out a lawful search or seizure. If deadly force is used, the maximum imprisonment period is 10 years.
  • 18 U.S. Code section 2232 – Destruction or removal of property to prevent seizure: Knowingly destroying, damaging, or transferring material, or intending to do any of these acts, to prevent or impair a lawful seizure by the government can result in up to five years imprisonment under this statute.
  • 18 U.S. Code section 2233 – Rescue of seized property: Forcibly recognizing seized property, or attempting to do so, can result in imprisonment for up to two years under this law.
  • 18 U.S. Code section 2234 – Authority exceeded in executing warrant: Willfully exceeding authority under a search warrant, or exercising authority under a search warrant with unnecessary severity, could result in a fine and imprisonment for up to one year.
  • 18 U.S. Code section 2235 – Search warrant procured maliciously: Maliciously procuring a search warrant without probable cause could result in imprisonment for up to a year and a fine.
  • 18 U.S. Code section 2236 – Searches without warrant: Maliciously searching a private dwelling or property without a warrant can result in a fine and up to one year of imprisonment if the malicious search is conducted by an agent or employee of the U.S. government.
  • 18 U.S. Code section 2237 – Criminal sanctions for failure to heave to, obstruction of boarding, or providing false information: This statute makes it unlawful for masters, operators, or persons in charge of a vessel subject to U.S. jurisdiction to knowingly fail to obey a lawful order by a federal law enforcement officer to heave to that vessel. Violating this law could result in up to five years of imprisonment or longer if there are aggravating factors such as the defendant’s actions resulting in death or involving an attempt to kill, kidnapping, or an attempt to kidnap.

Understanding the definitions of each of these statutes is essential because you need to know what the law is to protect your Constitutional rights to be free from unlawful search and seizure – but you cannot engage in impermissible activities in order to do so or you could be charged with a crime, convicted, and face the potential for jail time.

In order for you to be convicted of any offenses listed in Chapter 109, the prosecutor would need to prove ever element of the offense you’ve been accused of.

LV Criminal Defense will help you to learn about the specifics of the charges against you to develop an appropriate response to serious charges.

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Getting Help From A Federal Criminal Defense Law Firm

If you have been accused of breaking the law connected to searches and seizures, you need a federal criminal defense lawyer with knowledge of 18 U.S. Code Chapter 109. LV Criminal Defense is here and ready to help you. We understand federal laws that define crimes connected to search and seizure and we can defend anyone who has been accused of running afoul of those laws.

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To find out more about the specific legal services our firm provides or the ways in which our dedicated and compassionate federal defense attorneys can stand up for your rights when you have been accused of wrongdoing in California, Arizona, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, or surrounding areas, give us a call today.