Defense Guide for Drug Possession
One of the main areas in any criminal defense involving possessing drugs is to inspect and examine whether officers have violated the defendant???s rights during the search or investigation. All of us have the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures at the hands of law enforcement and government agents. Such a right comes from the 4th Amendment, which requires a warrant (or an exception to the Fourth Amendment Law) to allow officers to search you, your property, or your home for drugs. This means officers cannot simply setup a station at the corner of 6th street and Congress Ave and search every person that walks by for drugs. Such a search would be considered unreasonable and a violation of Constitutional rights.
When an officer invades your privacy to search or seize property or drugs without a warrant and without an exception to the warrant requirement, then that officer has violated your 4th Amendment rights. This means the search and seizure of the drugs can be challenged in court with a motion to suppress evidence.
During a Motion to Suppress Evidence, the defense attorney argues the procedures or techniques used during the arrest, investigation, or search were invalid under the law, and in violation of the defendant's fourth amendment right against unreasonable searches. In essence, the defense is asking the court to withhold or prevent the jury from learning about the seized evidence due to the violation of rights. At the same time, the district attorney is arguing the officer acted reasonably or within one of the many exceptions to the warrant requirement of the 4th amendment.
Motions to Suppress are one of the major ways to defend a drug possession or intent to deliver drug case, since drugs are often concealed upon a person, in a car, or in a home. The main way for officers to find the drugs is to search, which creates the possibility that a person's rights were violated during the investigation and search for drugs.
Motions to Suppress Drug Evidence can be based on many areas of invalid procedures or violations of rights. Some of the most common are: