Demystifying Texas Drug Cases and Search and Seizure Laws
Know Your Rights
The U.S. Constitution protects you from unreasonable search and seizure. Law enforcement routinely searches people and their property to seize valuable evidence. This is particularly common in drug cases. Search and seizure remains a large component of law enforcement protocol. When investigating drug cases, obtaining evidence is of utmost priority. Texas has very strict controlled substance laws with severe penalties. The consequences of drug possession can vary widely based on the substance, the quantity, the context and the defendant’s criminal history. Thus, it’s essential to thoroughly understand search and seizure laws when facing drug charges.
Typically, a police officer must have a warrant signed by a judge to search your person or property. If police conduct a search without a valid warrant, a judge may rule the evidence seized is inadmissible in court. Inadmissible evidence cannot be held against you.
But there are situations where law enforcement cannot obtain a warrant in a reasonable amount of time to apprehend suspects or seize evidence. The law provides police officer certain situations where they can perform a search without a warrant, including:
- The officer saw the defendant commit the crime then conceal the evidence
- The officer must enter private property to continue the pursuit of a suspect
- The officer checks for weapons to ensure officer safety during a stop
- The officer is arresting the subject and must search for weapons and contraband
Outside of these situations, there are very few instances in which a law enforcement officer may search your person or property and seize evidence in your possession.
Factors in Drug Cases
In drug possession or possession of drug paraphernalia cases, search and seizure laws are fundamental. It’s crucial to understand your rights and protections under the law, especially when facing a possession charge. One of those protections is freedom from unreasonable search and seizure.
Speak with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney if you think a law enforcement officer illegally searched you or your property. An attorney can evaluate the facts and circumstances of your case and advise you on whether the officer performed an illegal search. If so, the attorney can file a Motion to Suppress evidence in your case. Suppressing evidence can significantly weaken the prosecution’s argument. In some cases, this results in the case being dismissed altogether.
If you are facing drug charges in Dallas-Fort Worth, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb Criminal Defense Attorneys can aggressively protect your rights. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collins, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email email@example.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.