Did a search and seizure result in your facing drug charges?

On behalf of Anaya-McKedy, P.C. posted in Drug Possession on Thursday, December 21, 2017.

If you come under suspicion of criminal drug activity, authorities may open an investigation into your situation. You may or may not be aware that this investigation is underway, but one day, police and detectives may show up at your doorstep, demanding to search your home. Because these affairs often take place in a whirlwind, you may wonder whether you even have to allow these individuals into your residence.

Often, if an investigation takes place, authorities generally work to obtain enough evidence for a judge to grant them a search warrant. This warrant essentially acts as a ticket for police to enter your home and conduct a search. However, the search warrant must meet necessary requirements.

No warrant or improper warrant

If police search your home and do not have a warrant, or an issue exists with the warrant they provide, the exclusionary rule may apply to any evidence of drug activity they uncover. This rule states that one cannot use evidence against you in a court of law, discovered through illegal means, such as unwarranted searches or searches without probable cause. This also means that if any evidence or information obtained through unreasonable or unlawful means resulted in the discovery of additional evidence, all of that information is inadmissible.

Probable cause

In order for authorities to obtain a search warrant, they need to provide evidence that probable cause for the search exists. If they do so, a judge will then have to grant the warrant. As mentioned, detectives and other authorities often conduct investigations in order to obtain information that they could potentially present as probable cause for a search and seizure operation.

Expectation of privacy

In some instances, authorities do not need to obtain a warrant for searches. If you do not have a “legitimate expectation of privacy” for a certain area, police may not need a warrant in order to conduct a search. For instance, areas in plain view of the public, such as a front lawn, do not necessarily have this expectation, but a person’s home would have this expectation.

Understanding searches and seizures

The laws and regulations surrounding searches and seizures can be confusing for individuals who do not have extensive knowledge on the topic. Therefore, you may find yourself facing criminal charges for drug activity after a search, but you may also have questions regarding whether one conducted the search properly. If so, you may wish to consult with a Colorado attorney who could evaluate your situation and determine whether authorities may have violated your rights.