Drug Law Terms & Legal Concepts
Expectation of Privacy
While there is no reference to privacy in the constitution, there is an expectation against unreasonable searches and seizures in the 4th Amendment, meaning you have the right to not be searched for no reason as you walk down the street, drive in your car, or sit in your home.
4th Amendment Searches & Seizures
The 4th Amendment, as mentioned above, protects you against unreasonable searches and the seizure of your property. In an effort to combat illegal police tactics, any unreasonable searches are a violation of your rights.
Violation of Rights
A violation of your 4th amendment rights will be deemed to have occurred when an officer or governmental agent searches your property or seizes property without a warrant or in absence of one of the exceptions to the 4th amendment.
Motion to Suppress
If there has been a violation of your rights during a warrantless search and seizure, then as a defendant in an Austin criminal case, you are entitled to argue for the suppression of the evidence in a Motion to Suppress. During the Motion to Suppress Evidence in a drug case, the defense argues that the officer acted unreasonably (in reference to existing 4th amendment law) and violated your rights.
A Motion to Suppress asks the court to recognize the violation of rights, and to exclude or suppress the evidence that was taken as the result of such a violation. In practical terms, this means that the bag of marijuana that caused the arrest will be kept from the jury's ears, forcing the district attorney to prove the case without mention of the crucial drug evidence. If the motion to suppress is granted by the court, the charges pertaining to drug possession or drug sales may be dropped and dismissed.