Illegal Drug Searches & Why You Need a Lawyer
September 11, 2020
If you received drug charges, then it is important that you be aware of your constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. When the police obtain evidence from an illegal search, then the evidence must be suppressed, and the case may be dismissed. If your case involved an illegal drug search, then you should contact a Virginia criminal defense attorney from Rudolphi Law.
When is a drug search illegal?
Whenever the police conduct a search, they must have a search warrant or be able to identify a legally recognized exception to the search warrant requirement. If the police have a search warrant, then the warrant must be supported by probable cause. Some exceptions to the search warrant requirement include:
- Voluntary consent to the search
- A search incident to a lawful arrest
- Exigent circumstances to justify a warrantless search
- Probable cause to search
- Contraband present in plain view of the officer
The burden of showing that a search warrant was valid or that an exception to the search warrant requirement justified the search is on the prosecution. If the prosecution cannot show that the search was legal, then any evidence obtained as a result of the search is excluded from consideration in your case.
If drugs were found as a result of an illegal search, then that often will result in dismissal of the charges. For this reason, it is important when you are facing drug charges that you inquire about the validity of any search that occurred.
How do you challenge an unlawful search?
If you are facing drug charges and believe there may have been an illegal search, then your attorney can file a motion to suppress the evidence and to dismiss the case. After a motion is filed, a suppression hearing will take place where the prosecution must present evidence to show that the search was legal.
At the hearing, your attorney will have an opportunity to question and cross examine the witnesses presented by the prosecution. Your attorney will also have the opportunity to present legal argument to support your position. At the conclusion of the hearing, a judge will determine whether to grant or deny the motion.
Under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, all searches must be reasonable. If a court determines that the search lacked a valid warrant or that an exception to the warrant requirement did not exist, then the search is deemed as unreasonable and a violation of your constitutional right.
Why do you need a lawyer to challenge an illegal drug search?
To ensure that you raise the issue in the appropriate manner and present the appropriate argument, you should seek legal representation from a criminal defense attorney Fairfax VA. A criminal defense lawyer Fairfax VA will review your case and provide an opinion as to whether there is a basis to allege an illegal search.
If there was an illegal drug search in your case, then a criminal lawyer Fairfax VA will file a motion and advocate for suppression of the evidence and dismissal of the charges. A Fairfax criminal attorney will cite legal precedent and case law that supports your position on the matter. We will carefully cross examine witnesses and draw the judge’s attention to the deficiencies in the prosecution’s case.
When choosing a traffic lawyer Fairfax VA, it is important to find someone who is experienced and understands the law. At Rudolphi Law, we have successfully challenged drug searches and had cases dismissed. Contact us to learn how we can assist in your case.