Being approached by the police can be a very stressful experience. This is especially true if the officers are attempting to connect you to activities related to the possession or trafficking of illegal drugs. If you find yourself in such a compromising position, you may feel that the authorities hold all the cards, but this is not necessarily the case.
The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution grants all citizens protections in regard to the search and seizure procedures employed by law enforcement officers. Here are a few of the common scenarios in which you are ensured constitutional protection:
- If law enforcement officials enter your residence to place you under arrest.
- If law enforcement officials enter your residence or place of business in search of evidence of criminal activity.
- If you're stopped ostensibly for a traffic infraction, and the officer then searches the trunk of your vehicle.
- If you're simply out walking and a police officer stops and questions you.
- If you're placed under arrest.
Officers may not seize any evidence unless they have a valid warrant for your arrest, a valid warrant to conduct a search or the belief that there is probable cause you engaged in criminal activity.
Therefore, if you are ever arrested on drug possession, drug trafficking or drug manufacturing charges, but the officials conducting the search and seizure did not adhere to the aforementioned procedures, the evidence collected may not be used against you.
Proving that your rights have been violated can be difficult. This is why if you are facing drug charges, you may benefit from the representation of an experienced California criminal defense attorney. If the attorney is able to demonstrate that the police did not grant you your constitutional rights when carrying out the search and seizure, the charges could be dismissed.