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What are Your Rights Under Unlawful Search and Seizure in a Drug Case?

Challenging drug search and seizure is often a common criminal defense tactic used in drug cases. Jacksonville drug crime attorneys can investigate the circumstances surrounding your arrest or search to find out whether there were constitutional rights violations.

The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution guarantees your rights against unreasonable search and seizure, and requires authorities to obtain search warrants based on probable cause. Probable cause means that through gathering facts or inquiry, law enforcement officers believe that the individual they have targeted for investigation has committed a crime. Courts must examine search warrants to ensure probable cause exists before issuing them. Most criminal cases require search warrants before authorities can conduct a search. However, search warrants are not necessary under the following circumstances:

  • The suspect consents to the search. When suspects allow officers into their home to conduct a search, the search is legal.
  • Evidence in plain view. When an officer can see illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia in plain view, such as when peering into a car, searches are legal.
  • Search in connection with an arrest. When arresting a suspect, officers can conduct a search to prevent destruction of evidence or for protection against armed accomplices.
  • Emergencies. When public safety is in jeopardy, such as helping a person injured in an accident or when the suspect is seen destroying evidence, the police can conduct a search.

Drug crime lawyers in Jacksonville can challenge searches performed without warrants, argue there was a lack of probable cause for issuing a warrant or that searches were done outside of the scope specified by a search warrant.

Robert Shafer & Associates has decades of experience helping clients fight drug crime arrests.

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