If the police fail to get a warrant will my criminal case be dismissed?

Question

Can I get my case dismissed because I was searched without a warrant?

Answer

If a judge rules that the police should have obtained a warrant before conducting their search, the judge will usually exclude the evidence at trial. In some situations, however, the evidence can be used:

  • to impeach, or challenge the veracity of a witness
  • at sentencing, and
  • in civil cases and deportation hearings.

In addition, if the prosecution can show that they would have come upon the evidence in the normal course of their investigation, the judge may let it in. This exception is known as "inevitable discovery."

For more on how it works, see Police Searches and Improperly Issues Warrants

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