Police must follow specific protocols before attempting a search and seizure.
Failure to adhere to federal and state laws will result in the suppression of any evidence obtained during the search.
Fourth Amendment rights
Illinois takes its approach to search and seizure law directly from the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. According to this document, you have the right to security of your house, effects, papers and person from an unreasonable search and seizure. A search is only reasonable when officers have probable cause that constitutes the issuance of a warrant from a judge. The warrant must also define the place they intended to search and what they expect to seize.
Illinois search and seizure law
The Illinois state constitution also protects you from interception of your communications by any means. The purpose of these safeguards is to protect you from unreasonable search and seizure and from governmental officials overstepping their boundaries.
In Illinois, probable cause for a search warrant can come from an anonymous tip, an investigation, citizen information or a reliable confidential informant. They can also obtain a John Doe warrant, which does not include the informant in the warrant.
Exceptions allowing search and seizure without a warrant
Exceptions to the warrant rule include:
- You give police consent to conduct a search.
- The police conduct a lawful arrest.
- The items police seized were in plain view.
- The police made a legitimate traffic stop and had probable cause.
There is a certain amount of discretion to consider in search and seizure cases because Fourth Amendment language is so vague.