How Do Police Officers Get Search Warrants?

Due to the Fourth Amendment, the US Constitution protects American citizens from government intrusions like search and seizure of assets and property or even people themselves. This law makes people feel really protected and balances security and liberty in the society.

Chattanooga criminal defense attorneys at McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC are working hard to help the accused. Although it is an extremely common process, a search warrant may differ upon jurisdiction. Unfortunately, it is greatly misunderstood both  by the law enforcement and civilians — resulting in lots of problems during court process. That’s why, it is better to start with understanding –

What is a search warrant?

A search warrant is an order signed by a judge or a magistrate that permits law enforcement agent to accomplish a “search and seizure” procedure on an individual, a location, or a building for chances of locating evidence or capturing something in the act that will lead to incrimination. The judge who will provide the search warrant must be neutral. It suggests that they must not be associated with the police in any way.

The search warrant should include not only the place where the crime was most likely to occur, but also reasonable time and schedule, including details of the entity that will be searched and its legal purpose.

If you are afraid of being searched, you should be aware of how the police could do it and what grounds should they have for it.

How Do Police Officers Get Search Warrants?

No one can just go and get a search warrant. This is a lengthy process and police officer should apply for a search warrant on a judicial court and prove that the entity to be searched or seized has a probable cause.   A judge needs an affidavit having all the observations of the officer himself or various other witnesses prior to providing a search warrant.

The affidavit includes:
  • Info on the properties that will be searched
  • Offense that will be charged once the entity is found
  • Reasons why the police think the entity is in the area

The law enforcement agent needs to likewise show himself or herself worthy of asking for a search warrant via offering records that define their setting and authority, the regulations they are acting under, as well as the force and also resources needed to accomplish the procedure. These must all be gone along with the evidence proof that will certainly even more strengthen the application.

Limitations

First of all, search warrants need to be made within the set time-frame. When a search warrant is released, the law enforcement has only 14 days to do it from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Secondly, there should be a “knock notice” or the announcement of the police presence to notify the inhabitants of the area. However, if you refuse to open the door or let them in, the police can take actions such as breaking or restraining people if needed.

Thirdly, during the search the law enforcement officer can only search the areas included in the warrant and where the entity should reasonably be. However, because of the plain view doctrine, officers could pick the entity if in plain sight regardless of the location.

How Can You Protect Yourself?

To keep everything within the law and not to aggravate your situation, you have the right to challenge the search once it completed. The search warrant is considered completed after submitting a search warrant return document by the police to the court. This document includes the process of the search and the items obtained are reported.

 Some factors the accused can operate with:
  • Going beyond the scope of the search or searching on people as well as places not covered by the warrant
  • Mistreatment by police officers
  • Fabricated probable cause

If you are being accused and you face a search warrant, it is vital to get a lawyer immediately. The criminal law, both federal and state, is complex and complicated.  You should not talk with anyone else and you should not cooperate with the police or their investigators without first retaining a lawyer. At McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC, we provide knowledgeable criminal defense representation to clients of Chattanooga and throughout the surrounding areas. Contact us as soon as possible!

What Is A Living Trust And Why Do You Need One

Writing will is a common practice since you must have a legal document to ensure that your will would be followed after you are gone. However, not many have heard of a living trust and only around 20% of Americans have them. So should you join that 20 percent?

Our professional elder law attorneys from McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC, strongly believe that this is an aspect you should understand. Below is the answer to the main question:

What Is Living Trust And Why Do You Need One

A living trust is a written legal document through which your assets are placed right into a trust for your benefit during your lifetime and afterwards transferred to marked beneficiaries at your death by the representative you choose, called a “successor trustee.” A living trust contains the main assets in your estate, such as your house, vehicles, investments, and savings.

1. A Living Trust Prevents Probate

One of the first advantages of a living trust is that it prevents probate which usually suggests a faster distribution of assets to your heirs– just during several weeks compared to months or years with a will. Your your debts will be paid off and your assets will be distributed by your  successor trustee your assets only in accordance with your directions.

What is important, this document allows you to select a guardian for your children in case of death.

2. Saves Money, Time and Nerves

As stated abode, the transfer of assets will not go through probate and thus save money in the long run if someone decides to contest it. Though drafting a living trust will likely cost you more as it is a more complex legal document, it will ease the life of your family members. Here’s how.

Having a living trust could be incredibly helpful if you sooner or later end up being unable to take care of your assets as a result of physical or mental disorder. This is due to the fact that if you’ve made a trust with your partner, she or he has authority over all the trust property.

This attribute of a living trust can be a blessing to family members who are troubled, or rather perhaps overwhelmed, by taking care of a person who has actually been struck by a severe illness or accident. Without the authority conferred in a living trust file, relatives have to generally go to court to obtain lawful authority over the incapacitated individual’s funds– an uncomfortable, public procedure. Generally, the children or the spouse of the person should ask the court to be appointed as that person’s conservator or guardian.

This document also makes possible to avoid any fraud as your incapacity would need to be proven and licensed in writing by several doctors. Once that determination has actually been properly made, the follower trustee has legal authority to take care of all property in the trust, and also to utilize it for your health care, assistance and general well-being. The regulation requires him or her to act truthfully and prudently.

3. A Living Trust Guarantees Personal Privacy

One big difference between a will and a living trust is the degree of privacy. As this document is not revealed, after your death, your estate will certainly be distributed in private. A will, on the contrary, is a public document and all transactions will be public as well.

An additional difference is the handling of out-of-state residential or commercial property you own after your death. With a will, that home will have to go through probate in its own state; a living trust could assist you prevent probate.

With the huge experience of McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley Chattanooga attorneys developing a living trust is simple. The process starts by completing an easy set of questions. We will guide you through every aspect to avoid any potential issues and take care of your and your closest people future. In addition, if you have any doubts or concerns about doctors knowing your wishes about the use of various life-sustaining treatments, you may may prepare and sign some other documents, commonly called an advance healthcare directive (living will) and durable power of attorneyDo not hesitate to contact us!

Know Your Rights When Stopped By The Police

Probably everyone has been in such a situation: You are driving down the highway when– unexpectedly– you see those blue and red lights behind. Stopping by the police is a very stressful situation, but it is better to stay in control anyway. This is because anything you do and say could have a massive result on any kind of lawful process that may comply with. Whether the traffic stop ends in a simple moving violation or an arrest for a more serious crime, the steps you take are critical.

 

Attorneys Mckoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley share the following important information about what drivers should do when they get pulled over in Chattanooga, Tennessee:

 Stop the car

When you realize that a police car is following you, you are obliged by law to stop your vehicle quickly, but safely. Please remain calm during this time. In most circumstances, stopping the car doesn’t mean you admit your guilt – you’re just a driver who is alert to everything happening around. Also, this is an opportunity to find out the exact reason of stop. This information can be useful should you and a lawyer later need to prepare a defense.

Turn off your engine

You need to turn off the engine and anything else that might interfere your clear communication with the officer. Usually, this indicates shutting off your music and throwing out a cigarette if you have one and any chewing gum within the vehicle.

Place your hands on the steering wheel

If you are alone in the car, keep your hands visible on the steering wheel. If there is anybody else inside, they also must keep their hands visible during the talk with the police. Even if you want to take out your documents or driving license, it is better to wait for the officer’s request.  Remember: he/she knows nothing about you and anyone can be asked to stop on the street. Although such a situation is stressful for everyone, you can make things safer for all parties by keeping calm and keeping your hands visible, as it may seem like you are reaching for a weapon.

Stay inside

Do not step out of your automobile unless the officer tells you to do so. Once again, this holds true for passengers also. Just stay inside not to make the police officer to feel nervous or in a potential danger. After all, police officers have been killed in traffic-stop situations, and the officer’s approach to the vehicle is potentially the most dangerous moment.

Don’t argue

Road is not the best place to argue about the reason of the stop. Being hostile has actually led many people to problems in future. Comply with reasonable requests and react appropriately where suitable. As an example, when asked to hand over your license, enrollment, and proof of insurance coverage, you should claim something like, “Okay,” or, “Sure,” and also hand over the papers.

McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC warns that sometimes policemen act as though they might change their minds if you cooperate so that they can get information or an admission out of you.

 

Talking to a legal representative

Simple website traffic offenses often do not call for the assistance of a lawyer. Much more major accusations– like a fee of driving drunk or possession of medicines– often do. If you need to know exactly how the legislation in your state puts on your scenario, get in touch with a seasoned criminal defense attorney. An experienced lawyer can identify whether there could be a basis for a movement to suppress proof and otherwise overview you with the procedure.

Very often, small traffic violations don’t require the assistance of an attorney. Much more major accusations — like a charge of driving under the influence or possession of medicines — often do. If you want to know how the legislation in Tennessee state applies to your situation, contact our experienced attorneys from criminal defense attorney. McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC can guide you through the process.