PLEASE NOTE: To protect your safety in response to the threats of Covid-19, we are offering our clients the ability to meet with us in-person, via telephone, or through video conferencing. Please call our office to discuss your options.

Tampa 813-345-4909 | En Español 813-390-2494
Orlando / Miami / West Palm Beach - 888-496-5916

Search issues in criminal cases can be complicated

Last month, a 42-year-old Seffner man was arrested and charged with tax and fraud charge after police executed a search warrant on his home. The man, who had been under investigation for a month prior to his arrest, is accused of possessing guns, drugs and various items suggesting he had been involved in tax fraud.

Among the pieces of evidence found were cocaine, methamphetamine, and other drugs, two handguns and ammunition, W-2 forms, various Florida driver's licenses, debit and social security cards, a list of 75 names, and what prosecutors claim were instructions for committing tax fraud. As if this evidence weren't bad enough, the man has an extensive criminal record including 15 felonies, and his most recent release was in 2010.

One important thing to remember about criminal defense is that, no matter what kind of evidence prosecutors have against a defendant, there are protections available when officers failed to conduct an investigation properly. In this case, this doesn't seem to be an issue, based on what sources are saying. In some criminal cases, though, officers obtain incriminating evidence by conducting a search without first obtaining a warrant, or by executing a warrant incorrectly.

When this happens, the criminal defendant may be able to have the evidence tainted by the improper search excluding from evidence at trial. This is known as the exclusionary rule. The rules pertaining to the exclusionary rule can be confusing, however, because the protection may not be available in cases where officers thought they were acting properly. Determining where this exception is applicable requires an examination of the officers' mental state at the time of the search.

Needless to say, it is important to work with an experienced attorney when pursuing cases with search issues, and any criminal case for that matter.

Source: Tampa Bay Times, "Search warrant yields arrest of man on drug, tax fraud charges," Dan Sullivan, June 6, 2014.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Mark J. O'Brien's cases have been featured in:
The New York Times | The Miami Herald | Bay News 9 | abc 7 | The Boston Globe | USA Today | Tampa Bay Times | FOX News Channel | The Washington Post | abc Good Morning America | Chicago Tribune | NT News Talk Florida | St. Petersburg Times | Deadspin
“Mark, thank you for everything. I will forever be indebted to you. You have stood by me and believed in me when it was not the popular thing to do. You are an amazing advocate.” Adam Filthaut
  • Former Partner at the Law Firm of Adams and Diaco (Robert Adams and Stephen Diaco)
  • MJ (Todd Schnitt) Morning Show/Bubba the Love Sponge Clem Trial
  • Attorney Phil Campbell DUI Setup/Florida Bar Trial
More Testimonials
American Association for Justice National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers | NACDL 1958 Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers | FACDL Super Lawyers AVVO | See Reviews LC | Lead Counsel Rated
Best Criminal
Defense Lawyers
in Orlando