Can Police Search My Home for Drugs?
Your Protections Under the Fourth Amendment
People in the United States are afforded certain protections under various amendments to the United States Constitution. The Fourth Amendment provides guidance in matters of privacy and rights to personal property, stating:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
This means members of law enforcement are not permitted to break into your home or vehicle or seize your property without a warrant in circumstances where you have a “reasonable expectation of privacy.” (These protections exist for anyone in the United States, including non-citizens and undocumented immigrants.)
Your privacy expectations must be normal and legitimate based on commonly held privacy standards. As such, you are not protected in circumstances where you cannot reasonably expect privacy, such as when you are in a public place, or when police have probable cause to believe that a search will produce evidence that you have committed a crime.
When Police Violate Your Privacy Searching for Drugs
If police have searched your home, car, or other property in an attempt to find illegal drugs, they may have violated your Fourth Amendment rights, especially if any of the following are true:
- Police searched you or your belongings without probable cause.
- Police entered your private property without a warrant.
- The circumstances did not warrant a search.
- You were unfairly searched in an area or situation you believed to be private.
Can Unlawfully Discovered Evidence Be Used Against Me?
Drug-related searches and seizure typically result in the involved parties being arrested and charged with drug crimes. If you have been criminally charged after having your personal property searched by police, there is a good chance you could be facing criminal accusations and harsh penalties, such as fines, jail time, revoked civil rights, etc. However, the “fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine” dictates that evidence which has been unlawfully discovered or seized is not admissible in court. In other words, you cannot be charged or convicted of a crime based on evidence that came to light as a result of search without probable cause, search without a warrant, or any other search that violates your Fourth Amendment rights.
Drug Crime Attorneys Serving Clients in Dallas
At Crain Lewis Brogdon, LLP, we know your rights and we have the skill to protect them. We are experienced litigators and Dallas criminal defense lawyers with a commitment to fighting for the best interests of our clients. If police have searched you unfairly or violated your Fourth Amendment rights, we may be able to help you ensure no unlawfully obtained evidence is used against you.
Connect with a member of our team as soon as possible to schedule your free consultation with a Dallas drug crimes lawyer by calling (214) 301-5007.