In order to search your home or seize one's property law enforcement must have probable cause that a crime has been (or is being) committed. They must swear to the facts supporting this before a MDJ (Magisterial District Judge) in order to receive permission to do so. The document that is produced is commonly referred to as a warrant and provides the authorization for the police to search and seize.
The warrant may seem like a technical requirement but it is a fundamental part of our criminal justice system, and the first check on police power.
There are times, however, when police overreach and go beyond their authority. In those instances the remedy is to file a suppression motion to exclude the illegally seized evidence from being used at trial against the accused.
I will explore some of the more common suppression motion types and rationales in the coming blog posts.