If you are the subject of a search in which the officers are looking for evidence of drug possession or trafficking, you may feel extremely ill-at-ease or perhaps even panicked. In such an emotional state, it may be difficult to concentrate on events as they are transpiring. This is perfectly understandable as the stakes are so high, and you could be facing charges that carry severe penalties.
However, it is in such moments that it's important to try to focus on everything the authorities do during the search and seizure process. This is because you have rights afforded by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that prohibits certain actions on behalf of law enforcement officials.
Some of these prohibited actions include the following:
- Searching your vehicle without a reasonable suspicion that illegal substances, stolen goods or other illicit items are contained within.
- Stopping and frisking you without a reasonable suspicion that you have been engaged in illegal activity.
- Performing a warrantless search of any area in which you can reasonably expect privacy. However, there are exceptions that allow for warrantless searches.
- Using evidence obtained in an illegal search against you in court.
These are just some of the acts that police are strictly forbidden from engaging in when conducting a search and seizure. These and other illegal actions could result in the charges being dropped against a suspect. For this reason, it is critical that you pay attention to everything the authorities do if you or your property are ever searched.
If you have been arrested on drug charges, it is important to begin working on your defense as quickly as you can. To this end, you could likely use the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney can review the evidence against you and the manner in which it was obtained. If it appears that your rights were violated, the attorney could work toward having the charges dropped.