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Was Your Stop and Subsequent Arrest Legal?

One of the most compelling arguments made by attorneys representing clients arrested for a crime is, did the police have a legal reason to stop, search or detain the defendant? If law enforcement officers have probable cause to believe that a person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime, they then have a legal reason to stop or detain them. Many times, a stop or physical detention leads to law enforcement uncovering illegal items or observing illegal behavior exhibited by the detainee. The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects citizens from unreasonable stops, searches, and seizures, limiting the power of law enforcement to search people, their property, and their homes, without sufficient probable cause that a crime is being committed.

Though the Fourth Amendment has been debated over the years, one thing remains clear: the government has a duty to protect its citizenry from violations of their Constitutional rights.  When evidence is gained by an illegal stop, search or seizure, this evidence is inadmissible in a court of law. This exclusionary rule allows for evidence gathered illegally to be deemed non-admissible and is suppressed or “thrown out.” Although some searches are deemed acceptable where there is not probable cause that a crime has been committed, such as in security screening at an airport, or at our country’s borders, the general rule still applies to most situations.

If you are stopped, investigated, or arrested by law enforcement for any crime, you have a number of rights guaranteed by the U.S. and Florida Constitutions. Those rights include, but are not limited to, the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, the right to a jury of your peers, the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, the right to a reasonable bond, and the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure of your person or property. At Fallgatter Catlin & Varon, P.A. we are skilled at determining if your rights have been violated, and we will make the legal arguments to get you the best possible result.

Why Hire Fallgatter Catlin & Varon, P.A.?

Our lead criminal defense attorneys, Curtis Fallgatter and Lisa Varon have over 60 years of shared criminal law experience. Curtis was a Federal Prosecutor for over 17 years and has more than 20 years of experience representing defendants accused of committing crimes in state and federal court.  Best known for his high-profile federal cases, Curtis has also been recognized as one of the most successful criminal defense attorneys in America. For almost 30 years, Lisa Varon has represented people accused of just about every type of criminal offense in state juvenile, misdemeanor, and felony court.  Together, Curtis and Lisa are one of the most formidable criminal defense teams practicing criminal defense law today. If you have been arrested or accused of committing a crime, you need to consult with us, at no cost to you. We offer daytime, weekend, and evening appointments, by phone, Zoom, or in-person, and our offices are conveniently located in downtown Jacksonville. We represent defendants in state and federal court throughout North Florida, including Duval, St Johns, Clay, Putnam, Nassau, Bradford, and Baker Counties. Give us a call today at 904-353-5800 to protect your legal rights.