In 2015 alone, there were 22,631 federal drug cases, making drug crimes one of the most common reasons to go to court. One may be charged with such a crime if a person is believed or caught to be using, possessing, manufacturing, or distributing illegal drugs. Before adjudication, search and seizure are done by the authorities. However, just because officials in uniform come by your door and ask you to let them in, you do not have to readily give them the consent and allow them to search your home.
Here are things you should know when faced with this kind of situation.
Search and Seizure for Drug Crimes Should Be Court-Issued
The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution aims to protect the people’s right to privacy and freedom from arbitrary governmental intrusions. A search and seizure for drug crimes is only reasonable and legal if a court-issued warrant is presented, with few exceptions. If you give them your consent even without a warrant, the search and seizure is legal.
Search and Seizure for Drug Crimes May Be Warrantless Under Certain Grounds
A warrantless search and seizure for drug crimes that suspends the Fourth Amendment’s requirement is valid during emergencies. Authorities may enter homes without a warrant to protect life and property, prevent destruction of evidence, and pursue a fleeing criminal. If there is no emergency during the time the police pushed for a warrantless entry, it is them who owe you an explanation.
Search and Seizure for Drug Crimes is Lawful if Done in Plain View
The plain view exception in search and seizure for drug crimes is a must-know. If you are dealing illegal drugs outside your home and policemen happen to pass by, they have the right to search your home. With your obvious drug crime carried out in plain view, police will suspect that you also have drug equipment inside. What you did is unlawful, and their warrantless search and seizure is allowed.
Search and Seizure for Drug Crimes Is Different For Private Security
Search and seizure for private security is not protected by the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. If illegal drugs are found in your bag during inspection before you enter a shopping mall, the security of that establishment has all the right to seize the illegal drugs and bring you to the authorities. The evidence found inside your bag is valid since the search is rightfully done by private security. Had this been done by government security, which is to say that they stopped you when casually walking on the streets and searched your bag, any evidence found would be invalid.
Search and Seizure for Drug Crimes is Best Faced with a Lawyer
When you are approached by officials and they have presented a court-issued warrant, do not hesitate to call your lawyer for legal assistance. Drug crimes are serious and they can greatly impact you for the rest of your life.
Many people think that requesting legal counsel makes them look guilty, but you need to talk to a lawyer as quickly as humanly possible. It is an imperative to discuss your case early, increase your chances of winning it, and expand your options. Experienced criminal defense attorneys know what to do and how to do it. All you have to do is trust their expertise. If you are facing drug charges, call Broward Criminal Lawyer – Michael Gottlieb, Esquire today.