Illegal Search & Seizure

Illegal Search & Seizure

Police Misconduct and Drug Charges in Los Angeles

Drug possession, distribution and possession of drug paraphernalia are serious drug crimes that can result in jail or prison as well as steep fines. However, what some people do not know is that the evidence against them is not always valid or gained legally. According to the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, people are protected against "unreasonable searches and seizures" of their person, home, and belongings. It is against the law for authorities to perform a search or issue a warrant without probable cause. This section of the Bill of Rights essentially limits the power law enforcement has to make arrests and search homes and vehicles.

If any drugs or drug paraphernalia were discovered on your person or in your car, home, or business, but the search was conducted without probable cause, that evidence cannot be used against you. For example, if you were pulled over by police, it is illegal for them to search your car based on a hunch. Even if they do find something incriminating in your vehicle, it cannot be used in court. However, if the evidence was in "plain view," it constitutes a legal search and seizure. A Los Angeles criminal lawyer from our firm could defend your fourth amendment rights!

Know Your Fourth Amendment Rights

A search or seizure of your property is only valid if there is probable cause; therefore it is important to define just what probable cause is and what it is not. The fourth amendment applies to drug crimes and arrests in that warrants to search a home, vehicle, person etc. for drug paraphernalia must be judicially sanctioned. In the same way, arrests must be judicially sanctioned. If a law enforcement official has probable cause or has enough evidence to "reasonably" believe that a drug violation is happening, then they may search and seize pursuant property. This is where lines can become clouded. What is reasonable and what is "probable cause" can differ from case to case. With the right defense on your side, you may be able to prove that you were arrested after an illegal search and seizure.

How a Los Angeles Drug Defense Lawyer Could Help

Although laws regarding searches and seizures are in place to protect people, illegal search and seizures still happen. Talk to an attorney if your constitutional rights were violated in this way. Our firm is dedicated to standing up for the rights of those who were victims of unreasonable searches and can help them fight against it. By talking to Martinian & Associates, we could determine if there were any illegal practices during your arrest or in the investigation leading up to your arrest.

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