Judge reading paper on benchThis is the next post in my series on whether an arrest resulted due to a violation of one’s rights. My last article discussed when Peoria, Illinois defendants have the right to remain silent. It is important to understand that one does not have to actually be placed under arrest in order for the Miranda decision to apply. If you spoke to the police, and charges were the result, then contact a criminal defense lawyer today as you may have options. In this article I will discuss another important topic – the possibility of challenging a search warrant which was based on information from a confidential informant. If you or a loved one require assistance then contact my office today to speak with an attorney.

Law enforcement officials are typically required to obtain a warrant before searching someone’s home or vehicle. A warrant may only be issued after a judge has found that there is “probable cause” to believe that evidence of a crime will be found. When requesting a warrant, the police may rely upon statements from confidential informants which support a belief that such evidence will be found. If, however, it is shown that the informant provided false information, which was relied upon by the police in applying for the warrant, then it may be possible to exclude any obtained evidence from the Court’s proceedings. Depending on the nature of the charges, such an exclusion may result in a dismissal of the case.

Under Franks v. Delaware, there is a two-step test to determining if a warrant should be invalidated due to inaccurate information from a confidential informant. First, it must be shown that the officer did not have a reasonable basis to consider the informant “reliable.” When determining whether the informant was reliable the Court will look to the length of time for which the officer has been working with the informant, as well as other aspects which may increase or decrease reliability. Second, if it is shown that the informant was not sufficiently reliable, then the Court will review the warrant application as if the information from the warrant had been included. If the warrant application, minus the information from the informant, does not justify a finding of probable cause then any evidence obtained as a result of the warrant will be excluded from the Court’s proceedings. How the Court will rule in any given case is fact-specific and it is strongly suggested that you retain experienced counsel to assist you.

I am a former prosecutor who is experienced in handling cases which involve informants. If it appears that your rights were violated then I will file any necessary Motions on your behalf. An evidentiary hearing will be held and I will aggressively examine the arresting officers and argue for exclusion of the evidence. Contact my office today to speak with a Peoria defense lawyer. I also service the cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington. I also serve the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford. I also handle federal cases in Urbana.

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