Illegal Search & Seizure in Drug Cases
Police Misconduct and Drug Charges in Los Angeles
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.