According to, search and seizure is defined as an examination of a person’s premises (residence, business, or vehicle) by law enforcement officers looking for evidence of the commission of a crime, and taking (seizure and removal) of articles of evidence. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution protects citizens and criminal suspects from unreasonable searches of their persons and property, and prohibits police officers from making unlawful arrests/seizures.

The Fourth Amendment holds the laws and court decision foundation for the regulation of police-citizen encounters. A police officer can search and seize a person or property if they have a search warrant, arrest warrant, or “probable cause” that a crime was committed. Not all encounters with law enforcement involve a search and seizure. There are three types of law enforcement encounters as defined by the U.S. Supreme Court- consensual encounter, detentions, and arrest.

Types of Law Enforcement Encounters

Consensual Encounter: This is the most frequently used encounter and is often referred to as a voluntary encounter. There does not have to be any evidence of a crime to have a consensual encounter and can be ended by either party at any time. The consensual encounter is not considered a “seizure” under the Fourth Amendment.

Detentions: This encounter is also referred to as a Terry stop. Law enforcement can detain a person if they have reasonable suspicion that they are involved in a crime. This stop must be supported by facts and observations, not just a hunch. The detainee is not allowed to leave when being detained briefly to conduct an investigation.

Arrest: This encounter must be supported by probable cause. After an arrest, law enforcement can search the person, their belongings, and their immediate surroundings.

Experienced Search and Seizure Lawyers in Georgia

Consult an experienced attorney to protect your rights and better understand the legalities with search and seizure. M. Qadar A. Baig & Associates, LLC can review your case and determine the right course of action. Call today to schedule an appointment.

Posted on behalf of M. Qader A. Baig & Associates, LLC

M. Qader A. Baig & Associates, LLC
913 Commerical Street
Conyers, GA 30012
(770) 929-1665

Local News and Events

May 04, 2020
Autism spectrum disorder was first recognized by Dr. Leo at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1942. Historical accounts indicate that autism has existed for many years before it was officially recognized. Since…
Read More »
Apr 03, 2020
It is not uncommon for people to have to travel for work in this global economy. If you are facing divorce and custody arrangements, this necessary travel may come up for discussion. It is important to…
Read More »
Mar 16, 2020
If you are an up-and-coming recording artist, record companies and producers may start approaching you to sign with their label.
Read More »
Feb 20, 2020
Georgia enforces strict penalties, including fines, jail time and driver’s license restrictions, for motorists who are convicted of drunk driving.
Read More »