What is a Legal Search and Seizure in the State of Florida?


Individuals are protected and are guaranteed a reasonable expectation of privacy under Florida and Federal law. Law enforcement must obtain a search warrant before conducting a search of your property or conversation for it to be considered legal, in most circumstances.

If law enforcement finds something illegal in your vehicle or on your property, or has probable cause, they can conduct a search. Any evidence obtained from a search without probable cause, may not be admissible in court. If you are detained or arrested, there must be probable cause you were involved in illegal activity, so evidence seized from a search would be admissible.


To be valid under Florida law, a warrant must be signed by a judge. It must contain a description of the persons, location, or items and authorizes law enforcement to conduct a legal search of a specific location and seize any materials during the specified time. Law enforcement must swear under oath that they have probable cause and reason to believe a crime was committed or there are illegal materials on the premises.

There are a number of circumstances under which law enforcement may conduct a search without a warrant:

  1. Consent is given - If an individual permits police to conduct a search without coercion, any items or evidence discovered can be legally seized.
  2. Plain view search - Any evidence that is clearly visible by police can be legally seized.
  3. The right to search during an arrest - Police have the legal right to protect themselves, and can search for any weapons or evidence that may have been destroyed.
  4. Traffic stop search - Police have the right to search your vehicle during a traffic stop or if they have reasonable suspicion it contains something illegal.
  5. Emergency search - If law enforcement believes that public safety would be in jeopardy by awaiting for a warrant to be issued, they can conduct a search without a warrant.
  6. Florida Law - Specifies that it is not necessary to issue a search warrant of a private dwelling if there is suspicion of child abuse.

What to Do If You Have Been Arrested After an Illegal Search and Seizure

You should call the law of office of Ronald Chapman, so we can find out about the events surrounding your arrest. We will ask many questions to learn more about your situation. Did law enforcement have a warrant? Did the police coerce you into agreeing to a search? Was there probable cause? Ronald Chapman is an experienced defense criminal defense attorney who knows about search and seizure laws. Even if police have legally seized evidence from your vehicle or home, he can file a motion to suppress the evidence.

Ronald Chapman

If you have been arrested and believe your rights have been violated by being subjected to an illegal search, contact Ronald Chapman. Ronald Chapman is an experienced defense attorney who knows the ins and outs of the Florida criminal court system and is dedicated to his clients. Ronald Chapman can help you with your case.

Criminal Defense Attorney West Palm Beach

Ronald Chapman practices criminal defense in both State and Federal Courts within the State of Florida. Since 1990, Mr. Chapman has been representing people accused of committing various types of crimes. If you are facing criminal charges in Florida, Ronald Chapman can help.

Schedule your FREE Consultation! Call (561) 832-4348 or visit his website.

Visit us at https://www.justiceflorida.com/ You can also connect with the West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Office online today! Ronald Chapman, an experienced criminal defense lawyer, dedicated to defending your rights. Contact him today to begin to discuss your case.

Ronald S. Chapman, P.A.
400 Clematis Street, Suite 206
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

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