The United States and Michigan Constitutions grant people certain privacy rights. This means, among other things, that they are protected from unreasonable searches. In other words, the police generally cannot search someone unless they have a reasonable suspicion that the person is engaging in criminal activity. If they conduct a search without just cause, it may be deemed unlawful, and if the search results in criminal charges, the prosecution may be barred from using any evidence obtained via the search at trial. Recently, a Michigan court discussed what a defendant arguing a search was unlawful must prove in a case in which the defendant, who was charged with being a felon in unlawful possession of a weapon, moved to suppress evidence. If you are charged with a weapons offense, it is smart to speak to a Michigan gun crime defense attorney about your rights.
The Facts of the Case
It is reported that the defendant drove his minivan to the parking lot of a liquor store and parked it there for several minutes. Surveillance footage showed the defendant talking to numerous people while he sat in the van. No one was seen entering the van, but at one point, a man exited the rear of the van and robbed someone. The defendant, who was outside of the van at the time, observed the robbery, got back into his van and drove away.
Allegedly, footage from a green light a few blocks away showed a person that appeared to be the robber getting back into the van. The day after the incident, the police saw the defendant walking down the street. They approached him and asked him about the incident, and he admitted the robber was in his van. He walked to his van with the police and gave them his key. They then searched his van and found a gun. The defendant was charged with being a felon in possession of a weapon. He moved to suppress the evidence found during the search, arguing that the search was unlawful and violated his Fourth Amendment rights. Continue Reading ›