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When is evidence derived from an illegal search?

On Behalf of | Aug 15, 2022 | Criminal Defense

If the police come to your home without a search warrant, then they have to ask for your consent to come into the house. Unless there’s something in plain view or clear evidence that a crime is in process, they need to have either your permission or a warrant.

However, they don’t always wait to get these, and they may search your house illegally. This is a very frustrating situation to find yourself in, as you know that your rights are being violated. But you may not know how to stop them from conducting the illegal search, and they may even find evidence that they use to arrest you. Now what should you do?

The fruit of the poisonous tree

You’ll be glad to know that there’s already a legal doctrine that discusses this. It’s known as the fruit of the poisonous tree. The police engaging in illegal activity is what poisons the tree. The fruit of that tree is the evidence that they gather as a result.

But since the initial search was illegal, it means that all of the fruit of that tree cannot be used in court. This is evidence that should never have been found. The police have to follow regulations and rules so they don’t violate the rights of innocent citizens. That means extending these rights to everyone, even if the evidence that the police found in your house was serious enough that you would’ve been convicted.

If the way that the police gathered that evidence was illegal, you may be able to have it removed from court, which can entirely change your case. Be sure you know what steps to take.