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Do police sometimes conduct illegal searches?

We hope our readers had a fund and entertaining Labor Day weekend. In our last post, we highlighted the possibility that law enforcement agencies may overstep their Fourth Amendment constraints by seeking information not necessarily covered in search warrants or attempting to obtain warrants for electronic information without the requisite probable cause.

A prime example of such indifference has gone viral over the Internet. A Salt Lake City police detective arrested an emergency room nurse because she refused to take a blood sample from an unconscious patient. In order to do so, the nurse had to obtain consent in order to perform what would be considered a “search” under the Fourth Amendment since the officer did not have probable cause to order the search. 

The nurse even went so far as to put her supervisor on the phone who informed the detective of the hospital’s policy and the applicable law. Undaunted, the officer persisted until he finally snapped “we’re done” and proceeded to take the bewildered nurse into custody because he believed that she was obstructing justice and interfering with an investigation.

Eventually cooler heads prevailed, and the nurse was released without incident (or any criminal charges). But the case exemplifies the need for an experienced criminal defense attorney to challenge instances where police officers exceed their authority under the law.

If you have been arrested and believe that the charges are based on an illegal search, we invite you to contact us. 

The preceding is not legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. 

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