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Police Access To Information During DC Criminal Investigations

Although it may be tempting to try and limit the government’s access to certain information during an investigation it is important you do not take any actions that could be considered illegal or obstruction of justice. With that said, you do have certain rights that may not be impeded upon by law enforcement officers even if a search warrant is obtained. For these reasons, it is important you consult with a DC criminal defense attorney both to disuses what you can do to help your case and ensure that all your rights are protected. Call and schedule a consultation today to learn more.

Law Enforcement Access

During a D.C. investigation the police will often be able to obtain search warrants to search a person’s house, to search a person’s car and to obtain documents or other personal information that they can use in their investigations.

A person who is being investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department can and should expect that the police could at some point obtain a search warrant for their house or their apartment. A person should expect that the prosecutors or the police will be able to obtain search warrants for any of their private belongings and should discuss that possibility with a lawyer. It is also possible for the police to obtain a warrant to get a DNA sample from a suspect that they can then use to compare with the DNA that they find at the scene of the crime.

The police cannot come up to a person and simply demand that they provide a DNA sample. They can only do that with a warrant. That means that when police ask you for your consent to provide them with a DNA sample when they don’t have a warrant a person always has the option of refusing to provide that consent.

Consenting To a Search

At the very least the person should let the police officers know that they would like to discuss the matter with a lawyer before providing consent to any search that includes a search for a DNA sample or search of a house or search of a car. Before consenting to allow the police to do anything it is always a good idea to speak to a lawyer because if you consent to a search then you waive your ability to be able to challenge that search later on.

Limiting Police Access to Information

The best way to limit law enforcement access information is by refusing to consent to searches. Early on in an investigation before the police have the ability to obtain search warrants the police will very frequently try to get suspects to agree to waive their rights and consent to searches. Once a person has consented to a search then the police have free rein to be able to conduct that search and any evidence that is obtained as a result of the search is going to be used as evidence against you.

Consenting to searches won’t make the police go easier on you and it won’t make the police cut you some slack. It will only result in you providing the police with evidence that you cannot challenge later on. So the best way to limit the police’s access to information is to decline to consent to warrant-less searches.

What If Police Have a Warrant?

If the police come to you with a warrant then you should not attempt to challenge the execution of that warrant on scene. What you should do is contact a lawyer when the police are searching your house. Let the police conduct the search and allow a lawyer to determine whether the police acted in a way that was consistent with the warrant or went outside of the limits that the search warrants granted them.

Every search warrant will have limitations. Just because the police have a search warrant for a house it doesn’t mean they can necessarily search your car. Just because the police have a search warrant for your car doesn’t mean that they can necessarily search your person or get a DNA sample from you. So if the police go outside of their limits in the search warrants then a lawyer can always take a look at the search warrant and decide if there are ways of challenging the manner in which they conducted the search to determine if they went beyond the scope of that search warrant.

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