, Did You Know You’re Paying Not to Seal Your Illinois Criminal Record?
, Did You Know You’re Paying Not to Seal Your Illinois Criminal Record?
X

FREE CONSULTATION

Thank you for your interest in The Law Offices of Andrew M. Weisberg. Please fill out the form below and we will be in touch soon

*Indicates Required Fields

, Did You Know You’re Paying Not to Seal Your Illinois Criminal Record?

Call Today for a FREE CONSULTATION

SE HABLA ESPAÑOL

(773) 908-9811

AVAILABLE 24 HOURS/7 DAYS

menu

X

, Did You Know You’re Paying Not to Seal Your Illinois Criminal Record?

(773) 908-9811

AVAILABLE 24 HOURS/7 DAYS

FOLLOW US:

Aggressive. Experienced.

Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
Former Cook Country Felony Prosecutor

, Did You Know You’re Paying Not to Seal Your Illinois Criminal Record?Blog Home

Your Rights against Search and Seizure on IL Public Transportation

If a police officer comes to your home to interview you, he or she may ask to enter and conduct a search.

 

Legally, you have the right to say no unless the officer has a search warrant or has reason to believe that you are harboring a suspect they are immediately pursuing. You can and should exercise this right, even if you feel that you have nothing to hide.

 

You have this right because law enforcement officers may only search your person or property if there is reasonable suspicion that you have committed a crime, or if they have obtained a search warrant from a judge. These are a part of your Fourth Amendment Rights.

 

However, the Fourth Amendment does have limitations.

 

For example, under some circumstances you can be searched while using transit systems funded by US tax dollars. However, the circumstances of the search become very important here. In some situations, it may still be possible to use the Fourth Amendment as a defense strategy for anything found on your person in such a search.

 

Below, we’re going to discuss the circumstances under which a police officer is allowed to search you on public transit in Illinois – and when you have the right to refuse a search.

 

When Is a Search on Chicago Public Transportation Lawful?

 

Officers have the right to search you when they have probable cause to suspect you of a crime. Most commonly, search and seizures are related to drug crimes, so we’ll cover specific examples pertaining drug crimes here.

 

Probable cause for a drug search on public transportation includes, but is not limited to:

 

  • Drugs or drug paraphernalia in plain sight
  • Strong odor of drugs (for example, marijuana)
  • Disruptive behavior that suggests you may be intoxicated

What about drug dogs?

 

You have probably noticed drug-sniffing dogs in Chicago airports and public transit stations. Drug dogs can be routinely brought into these locations, even if officers do not suspect a specific person of a drug crime.

 

Should the drug dog alert to your person, this would be considered probable cause for a search. In this context, anything illegal found on your person can be used as evidence for a drug crime or other offense.

 

However, once a train or bus is in motion, it cannot be stopped by officers with drug-sniffing dogs. Delaying any vehicle on unreasonable suspicion violates the Fourth Amendment. If you are caught after the vehicle is in motion, it may be possible to throw out any evidence resulting from what would be an unlawful search and seizure.

 

How Search and Seizure Laws Can Impact Your Chicago Drug Charge

 

If the evidence against you for a drug crime or other offense was obtained using an unlawful search and seizure, it is not admissible as evidence in court.

 

In the case of drug crimes, the substance in question is generally the primary evidence used to prosecute and sentence the offense. If you can prove that the drugs were obtained as the result of an illegal search and seizure, your case will likely be thrown out.

 

It’s also important to note that private security personnel have more rights than law enforcement to conduct a search and seizure. For example, a mall cop is allowed to search your purse for stolen items as you leave a store, even if there is no probable cause. Further, if security personnel uncover evidence of a criminal offense, they are able to turn this evidence over to police and it will be admissible in a court of law.

 

, Did You Know You’re Paying Not to Seal Your Illinois Criminal Record?

The most important bullet points here are:

 

  • You can only be searched by a police officer on public transit if there is probable cause to suspect you of a crime.
  • Any evidence obtained in an unlawful search cannot be used against you.

However, determining whether a search was unlawful is often nuanced, and requires the help of a knowledgeable legal professional. This is where a skilled Chicago criminal defense attorney comes into play.

 

 

About the Author:

 

Andrew M. Weisberg is a former felony prosecutor who now serves as a defense attorney in the greater Chicago area. He has extensive experience in handling all types of criminal cases, from sex offenses and domestic violence to retail theft-related crimes, murder, and drug crimes.

 

Our Blog

Is It Theft, Robbery, or Burglary? How Illinois Defines Each Crime

Burglary | Robbery | Theft

Many people use the terms “theft,” “robbery,” and “burglary” interchangeably in daily conversations. Which makes sense. After all, each term – in general – addresses the same topic.

Legally speaking, however, the terms describe three different and specific types of criminal offenses. If you’re facing criminal charges related to stealing something, you need to know the legal definition of each term.

Theft in Illinois

Illinois Statutes Chapter 720 §16-1 defines theft as obtaining the property of someone else through deception [...]

Did You Know You’re Paying Not to Seal Your Illinois Criminal Record?

Record Sealing

You’ve served your time and paid off fines for your crimes. Everything should go back to normal, right?

Not so much.

Even if you are only arrested, or if you are charged but acquitted on those charges, it creates a criminal record. A record that will follow you if you don’t take action.

Having a conviction on your record is especially hard because state and federal laws automatically ban you from holding certain positions, getting certain jobs, and even exercising [...]

Law Offices of Andrew Weisberg