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What makes a search legal in Georgia?

| Feb 2, 2021 | Criminal Defense

Convictions at trial may hinge on how concrete the evidence proving guilt is. Insufficient evidence could lead to charges getting dismissed or even dropped. Law enforcement frequently procures evidence during a search. Georgia law defines what makes a search legal. If a search becomes illegal, any procured proof of a crime might not be admissible in court.

The legality of a search

Probable cause usually will factor into whether the police could make an arrest. If a police officer suspects someone of a crime due to how the person dresses and does nothing suspicious, no probable cause likely exists. Entering the suspect’s home with no probable cause and without a warrant would probably be a violation of the suspect’s rights. Even if the officer discovered a significant amount of drugs, serious questions might arise about the search’s legality.

Georgia law does specify many requirements for a search warrant’s issuance, such as the requirement for the warrant to come from the superior court. The law points out that any GA Code violations might lead to procured evidence being “excluded and suppressed.”

Narrow instances exist when a warrant is not necessary. For example, if the officer sees a crime in progress, the officer might be within his authority to perform an arrest and search.

Motions to suppress evidence

A criminal defense attorney may file a motion to suppress evidence. The purpose involves requesting that the court excludes evidence. An attorney may argue there was a lack of probable cause.

In some instances, lack of probable cause may be more apparent than others. Therefore, an attorney might need to provide a compelling argument about a lack of probable cause.

Georgia law establishes the legal procedures for a search. A criminal defense attorney may look closely at the circumstances surrounding the police attained evidence. Without admissible evidence, there may not be a case.

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