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When investigating federal crimes, law enforcement agencies and prosecutors must follow strict Constitutional guidelines and procedures while collecting evidence to use against the suspected person. The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects all residents of the United States — even undocumented immigrants — against the unreasonable search and seizure of their persons and property where and when a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy. When evidence has been found and seized in violation of the Fourth Amendment, then that evidence must be suppressed or thrown out by the court, which can lead to either a dismissal of the case or a reduction of the severity of the charges.

At the Law Office of John M. Runfola, we understand the subtleties and scope of current search and seizure laws and we zealously protect all of our clients against any such unreasonable invasions of their privacy. Our firm will investigate your case thoroughly to decide if law enforcement authorities followed proper procedures and honored the law when amassing the evidence necessary to bring a case against you to trial. We will examine government documents, including warrants and affidavits. We will compare the stories between different affiants and informants and look for inconsistencies and violations of the law. If we find any such violations, we will aggressively move to have the court suppress any illegally obtained evidence.

Our firm has successfully defended clients in cases where their Fourth Amendment rights were violated by illegal searches and seizures. In one high-profile case, our client was charged with the possession of 1,080 pounds of pure heroin, valued at over $1.3 billion. Our firm challenged the methods with which U.S. Customs officials and other law enforcement agencies handled the surveillance and gathering of evidence in this case, which led to the exclusion of key prosecution evidence and the dismissal of the most serious charges against our client.

More recently, we successfully defended a client charged with possession of over one kilogram of cocaine with intent to distribute and conspiracy to distribute cocaine by challenging the methods used by FBI and DEA agents while warrantlessly searching our client's home. All charges against the client were dropped. We have also been successful in challenging illegal searches and seizures in cases involving felony gun charges.


When your constitutional rights are violated by an illegal search and seizure, it is important to hire a lawyer who fully understands federal search and seizure law and procedure. The Law Office of John M. Runfola has represented people in California and around the country for over 30 years and understands that in most cases, the prohibition against unreasonable invasions of privacy means that law enforcement personnel, be they local police or FBI or DEA agents:

In all situations, absent some judicially recognized exception, law enforcement are required to obtain a search warrant and provide a copy to the person being investigated before any search can be effected. They must make a showing of probable cause in court to use wiretapping or other means of surveillance if other less intrusive means were available. They must have probable cause based on specific, relatable facts, to believe a person is involved in criminal activity before a court will issue a search warrant.



If you believe that your Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure have been violated and you have been charged with a federal crime as a result, contact the Law Office of John M. Runfola to get the defense you deserve.

We offer a free consultation and are available to our clients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your convenience. Call us at 415-391-4243 or send us an email

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