If the police conduct an illegal search, will the case against me be dismissed?

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Question:

If the police conduct an illegal search, will the case against me be dismissed?

Answer:

A judge will exclude evidence that the police seized or learned about as the result of an illegal search. But if a prosecutor has enough other evidence to prove a defendant guilty, the case can continue.

Example: Dick McCallous is charged with possession of stolen property: cleaning products stolen from a local janitorial supply business. Half of the missing janitorial products that McCallous is charged with possessing were discovered by the police in the course of a warrantless search of McCallous’s home after they had properly arrested McCallous for possession of the other half. In response to a defense motion to exclude evidence, the judge rules that the police illegally seized the janitorial products from McCallous’s home, but that the other products were seized properly. The prosecution of McCallous can go forward, but only as to illegal possession of the products that were properly seized.

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