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Fourth Amendment Violations and Drug Charges

 Posted on January 30, 2024 in Drug crimes

UT defense lawyerThe Fourth Amendment guarantees your right to be free from unlawful searches and seizures. Even so, in law enforcement’s quest to bring drug charges against someone, a police officer may break the law. 

You may be unaware if a police officer or detective illegally obtained evidence. That is why having experienced counsel is a must. 

If you are facing drug possession, drug manufacturing, or other drug charges, our Salt Lake City drug crimes attorneys are here to help. 

Rights Granted in the Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment grants the American people the right to be free of unlawful searches and seizures. To conduct a lawful search of your property, law enforcement must have probable cause to obtain a search warrant. 

To obtain a warrant, there must be probable cause. To establish probable cause, there must be a sufficient amount of reliable evidence to deduce that the individual committed a crime. 

A search warrant must be signed by a judge or magistrate. If a search warrant is issued, it must describe the location that is being searched and the items that are under investigation. The police are only allowed to search the area(s) specified in the search warrant. 

Fourth Amendment Violations in Drug Cases

There are situations in which law enforcement may discover drugs illegally. A Davis County drug crimes attorney can help prove if you were the victim of an unlawful search and seizure.

The Drugs Were Not Readily Visible

The Plain view doctrine gives law enforcement the right to conduct a warrantless search if an illegal substance is in plain sight. For instance, a police officer does not need a warrant to search your home if you have a marijuana plant situated in your window.

However, a police officer may claim that drugs were readily visible when, in reality, they were not. This is a clear violation of your rights, and any collected evidence will be inadmissible in court.

The Police Did Not Have Your Consent 

If you are pulled over for a routine traffic stop, the police officer does not automatically have permission to search your vehicle. Even though police officers do not have to acquire a warrant to search a vehicle under the automobile exception, this only pertains to certain situations. 

For example, if a police officer pulls you over for drunk driving, the officer cannot search for illegal substances without probable cause that you are in possession of drugs.

Search Not Immediately After an Arrest

Suppose a police officer is searching your vehicle for a drug stash following an arrest for drug possession; that is permissible. However, the search must be close in time to your arrest. 

There are many circumstances in which a police officer may fail to conduct a search immediately following an arrest, making it an illegal search.

Speak with a Salt Lake City, UT, Drug Crimes Attorney Today

A drug crime charge puts your freedom at risk. If law enforcement has charged you with a drug-related crime, you should contact our Davis County, UT, drug crimes attorneys as soon as possible. Contact Collins Rupp, P.C. online or by calling 385-777-2753 to schedule your free consultation. 

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