When faced with a drug crime, accused offenders are often concerned with the evidence that is stacked up against them. Whether it was a traffic stop subject to a search, a stop and frisk or the search of the home, if law enforcement uncovers a controlled substance, the person being searched could be charged with a serious drug charge. However, it is important to note that just because evidence was recovered against the accused, this does not mean the charges will remain.
To begin, in order for there to be a lawful search, a search warrant must be issued if the search is being conducted where one expects to have privacy. Two factors need to be considered when determining whether or not a search warrant is necessary. The first is whether the person of the home or property being searched expects a degree of privacy. The second factor is whether or not this expectation of privacy is reasonable.
If there is a legitimate expectation of privacy and a search warrant was not issued, this could be considered an unlawful search. An unlawful search is when a person’s Fourth Amendment rights are violated. When obtaining a warrant, law enforcement must show the judge that probable cause exists that a crime has occurred and evidence or contraband linked to the crime will more than likely be found in a certain location on the property or person at issue.
If a person facing drug crimes believes these charges stem from an unlawful search and seizure, it is possible to use this information is his or her defense. Taking the time to understand the matter and establish a strong criminal defense could help reduce or even dismiss that charges against them.