Entering a person's home to conduct police business is among the most dangerous tasks police officers confront, particularly when executing a search warrant where the entry is against a resident's will. Entries into the home often require aggressive police action to control the premises, and commonly lead to civil rights suits alleging illegal search and seizure. While lay people often do not understand the need for aggressive action upon entering, the litigation lawyers at The Sotos Law Firm have extensive experience in educating juries and courts as to the risks faced by police officers in these dangerous encounters and the need for assertive police action, and in securing favorable litigation and trial outcomes in such cases.
For example, our firm successfully defended a drug task force officer against a homeowner's claim that a search of his home pursuant to a search warrant for drugs was a ruse to punish him for having brought a different civil rights claim against other members of the same department. The case was complicated because the search of the home did not turn up any drugs. Nonetheless, our defense successfully focused on the proper procedures taken by the officer in utilizing a confidential informant in order to procure the warrant, and the judge who issued the warrant testified to the procedures he follows before granting such warrants. Our attorneys routinely conduct legal seminars to various police departments and law enforcement organizations, including the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, analyzing the most recent opinions covering search and seizure cases from both federal and state courts. In this fashion, the Sotos Law Firm remains on the cutting edge of the legal trends involving the law on search and seizure with regard to vehicle searches, exigent circumstances to enter a residence without a warrant and Terry stops.