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Computer Search and Seizure in Illinois

DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyers — Learn Your Rights Under Illinois Laws

It happens often in Illinois: A man gets a knock on the door and, when he opens it, the police are standing there. They ask if they can come inside. Thinking he has nothing to hide, the man says yes. One thing leads to another. Before he knows it, he has consented to the police seizing his computer.

At the law offices of Michael T. Norris, Ltd. and John W. Callahan, Ltd., we are all too familiar with how search and seizure affects our clients. Lawyers at our DuPage County law offices are dedicated to protecting people accused of a range of crimes, including sex offenses like possession of child pornography, solicitation of prostitution or solicitation of a minor, as well as identity theft and credit card fraud. People facing these charges often must deal with search and seizure of their computers — and the legal affects that computer records can have on their cases.

Your Digital Footprint

There are hundreds of ways that computers record everything you do on the Internet. While it is possible to clear some records of your activities by deleting files or hiding passwords, it is never possible to completely clear records of all computer activity.

When police seize your computer, they have the technical ability to see how you've used it — what emails you have sent, what websites you have visited and what files you have downloaded.

The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution: Protecting Your Right to Privacy

The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution Americans' privacy and protects you from unreasonable search and seizure. It restricts the police from doing searches or from taking computers unless:

  • They have probable cause to believe that they can find evidence that you committed a crime, and a neutral judge issues a warrant or
  • In some situations, the circumstances justify a warrantless search

If the police ask to come into your home to "look around," know your rights. You have the right to say no. Ask to see the warrant that gives them the right to computer search and seizure. If they don't have a warrant and they don't have your permission, chances are they cannot conduct the search.

After you have denied permission for computer search and seizure, call a lawyer. This may not be the last you hear of the police and it is critical to protect your rights before things get out of hand.

If You Have Been Victimized by Illegal Search and Seizure...

Illegal search and seizure is a legitimate issue in Illinois. If you have been victimized, do not wait for more trouble. Talk to an attorney about your options. The sooner you get an attorney involved, the sooner your rights are protected and the more likely you are to achieve favorable results.

Did the police have the right to search? Find out. Contact the Naperville Sex Crime Defense Lawyers at Michael T. Norris, Ltd. and John W. Callahan, Ltd. today. Call us toll free at 1-877-335-6693 or contact us online for a free and confidential consultation. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day.