Warrant Defense Lawyers in Kansas City

Warrants are legal directives issued by the court authorizing specific law enforcement activities such as seizing evidence, searching premises, and detaining individuals. In the United States, warrants are provided for and regulated under the Fourth Amendment, which sets out to protect Americans from unreasonable seizures and searches without impending police work.

Legally speaking, warrants are specific types of authorizations or writs issued by a judge or magistrate permitting an otherwise illegal act that would violate individual rights and freedoms. As such, a warrant affords the person executing the writ protection from damages when the authorized acts are performed.

Warrants are normally executed by law enforcement officers. However, it is important to note that the law requires the police to act within the confines of the law when executing warrants.

In this article, we will discuss the different types of warrants and how Kansas City warrant defense lawyers can help protect your rights when a warrant has been issued against you, or when a search has been conducted without one. Read on to learn more.

Types of Warrants in Kansas City

Missouri Countyand municipal court judges often issue various types of warrants upon finding probable cause. Tax authorities such as the Missouri Department of Revenue and county treasurers can also issue specific warrants.

Below are the various types of warrants recognized by Missouri statutes. Each serves a distinct administrative, judicial, and/or law enforcement purpose.

1.      Warrants of Arrest

Arrest warrants are issued by municipal and district judges as well as magistrate judges for the purposes of apprehension and detention of people believed to have committed criminal offenses.

2.    Search Warrants

Search warrants are issued to authorize law enforcement officers to search people, their homes, cars, and other items and seize evidence gathered during the search. They help law enforcement agencies uncover and preserve evidence of crimes without infringing upon individual rights.

3.    Bench Warrants

This type of warrant is issued by judges when one fails to appear before a court after being summoned, where a person violates their probation or parole, is in contempt of court, or fails to comply with court orders. The purpose of a bench warrant is to compel offenders to honor court orders or appear for trials.

Probable Cause and Search Warrants

As previously stated, the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects Americans against unreasonable seizures and searches. Therefore, police officers require a warrant or probable cause to conduct searches.

Where your rights have been violated during the search process, the illegally obtained evidence may be excluded from the court records, which can result in your case being dropped.

However, there are a few limited exceptions where law enforcement officers are sanctioned to conduct a search without a warrant. In Missouri, Police officers will not need to get a warrant if:

1.      It’s during a protective sweep

When police officers are arresting a person, they often conduct a protective sweep, during which they can search surrounding areas and rooms to try and uncover accomplices or weapons. However, a protective sweep must not take longer than the time it takes to arrest the individual.

2.    The evidence of criminal activity is in plain view

If law enforcement officers spot evidence of a crime or criminal activity while lawfully on your property, they can seize such evidence without a warrant.

For instance, if a police officer is at your apartment answering a burglary call and spot cocaine in your apartment through the window, there is probable cause for them to search your apartment and seize the drugs as evidence, without a warrant.

3.   The person being searched has consented to the search

If you or the person in charge of your property gives consent without being tricked or coerced, then police officers can search the premises without a warrant.

It is also important to note that although consent can have a broad interpretation, it typically only covers the common living areas such as your kitchen and living room. Without a warrant, an officer is not permitted to enter your private rooms, such as the bedroom and bathroom.

If police officers show up at your doorsteps and request to search your property without a warrant, you are not obliged to grant consent. You can politely state that they cannot search your house without a warrant.

Remedy Against Unlawful Searches: Motion to Suppress

If you believe a police officer searched your vehicle or home without probable cause, you can seek relief for violation of your Fourth Amendment rights through the criminal justice system with the help of seasoned Missouri defense attorneys.

You are probably wondering whether the charges entered against you will be dropped if the police obtained evidence illegally. Well, it depends. Charges are not automatically dropped, even when a judge determines that the search was unlawful.

Kansas laws allow defendants to file a motion to suppress illegally obtained evidence. This is a pre-trial motion, and when granted, the illegal evidence is removed from the court’s record. This means that the prosecutor cannot use that evidence against you.

Charges may or may not be dropped upon grant of a motion to suppress illegally obtained evidence, depending on the scope and nature of the expunged evidence.

Where the prosecution can’t meet its burden to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt without the expunged evidence, the charges entered against you may be dismissed. However, if the prosecution still feels it has sufficient alternative evidence to prove your guilt beyond reasonable doubt, they may decide to move forward with your case.

Why Choose KC Defense Counsel?

If you have been served with a warrant or your person or property has been searched without a warrant, you will need the best defense legal counsel to protect your rights and defend you against the charges entered against you.

KC Defense Counsel is a Missouri-based criminal law firm with a team of competent and experienced criminal defense lawyers. Our attorneys are ready to take up your case and fight for you. To book your free consultation, call us at 816-287-3787 or complete and submit this contact form.