A recent Michigan Supreme Court decision dismissed charges against a Michigan man after determining that Holland police officers had entered his house illegally. In Michigan v. Moreno, two Holland police officers tried to enter the house of Angel Moreno, Jr. without a valid warrant.
Your fourth amendment right to be free of illegal searches and seizures protects you from unlawful searches of places where you have a reasonable expectation of privacy – such as your home. If you believe police have subjected you to an unlawful search or seizure, its important to contact an aggressive Michigan criminal defense lawyer right away to protect your rights.
Here, the police officers were in search of another man – Adams – on several outstanding warrants. Adam’s car was parked near Moreno’s house. The police officers were told that Adams wasn’t in the house and that they couldn’t come in without a warrant. After saying they wanted to secure the home, the police officers tried to enter the home. Moreno began closing the door, but one of the officers put his shoulder against the door preventing it from shutting. Moreno then struggled with the police officers, and was arrested for and charged pursuant to MCL 750.81d with resisting and obstructing a police officer.
The court determined that the police had unlawfully entered the house. They did not have a warrant and no exigent circumstances existed that provided an exception to the warrant requirement.
Further, the Supreme Court determined that Moreno’s common law right to resist unlawful arrest or other invasions of private rights and these rights wasn’t abrogated by the resisting arrest statute. The court emphasized that the right to resist unlawful arrests and other unlawful invasions of private rights is well established.
As a result the charges against Moreno were quashed.
Very specific rules exist concerning when police may validly enter your home and conduct a search. Failure to follow the proper procedures can lead to evidence being suppressed and in this case, charges being thrown out.
If you have questions concerning when police may conduct a valid search or if you believe that police have unlawfully searched your car or home, please contact the top Michigan criminal defense lawyers at Grabel & Associates for an immediate, free consultation.