If you are facing drug possession charges after the Dallas police conducted a search and seizure, the main questions you should be asking is whether or not law enforcement officers followed protocol during the process. In other words, was the search and seizure illegal? The fact is, searches and seizures are subject to both rules and exceptions that are laid out in the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.
When looking at a possible drug conviction because of a possession charge, it is important to examine how the original arrest came about. Read below to find out more search and seizures rules.
When an investigation becomes a search
There is a difference between an investigation and a search. In order for the court to determine if the investigation transitioned into a search, it considers two questions. First, the court asks if the person under investigation or being searched expected a certain amount of privacy. Second, the court examines whether or not that expectation to privacy was reasonable under the circumstances. If the answer to both of questions is yes, then the court typically concludes that the law enforcement officers conducted a search. If the answer is no, then a search did not occur.
In general, any property that is located in your home or on your property is private. In order for the police to enter your property to collect evidence, they usually need a search warrant. However, if there is a risk that a suspect will destroy evidence, the police do not need a warrant.
Searching your car
If the police pull you over and have a reasonable belief that you have a weapon, they can search and frisk you without a warrant. They also have the right to check your person for drugs or other illegal items.
The police can legally search your car without a warrant if you are close enough to reach the passenger compartment in the vehicle or if there is a reasonable suspicion that the car has evidence the pertains to your arrest. However, if the police tow and impound your car, they can search the vehicle.
Furthermore, they can more or less search through every nook and cranny of it. Even if they tow your car for unpaid parking tickets, once it is impounded, law enforcement can help themselves to a search. On the other side of it, the police have to have a legitimate reason for towing your car and it cannot be for the sole purpose of conducting a search.
If you are facing drug possession charges, it is important to remember that you still have rights and options. Your attorney can examine the details of your case and determine if the police may have conducted an illegal search and seizure.