If you are facing federal drug charges in Atlanta after a police search of your belongings, you may have questions about whether or not the events that led to your arrest were legal.
With a stronger federal crackdown on drugs, it is more important now than ever to understand your rights. By informing yourself of the law, you can mount a stronger defense against your charges.
What is unreasonable search and seizure?
Unreasonable search and seizure occurs when authorities search or seize your belongings without probable cause that suggests criminal activity. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution protects citizens from this action by requiring authorities to demonstrate probable cause before obtaining a search warrant or conducting a property search.
When can authorities search my belongings without a warrant?
There are several scenarios when police are not required to obtain a warrant to search your belongings, including the following:
- You tell them they can search
- You are already under arrest and police are searching for more evidence of the crime
- Authorities believe waiting for a warrant threatens public safety or the safety of crucial evidence
- Illegal evidence is already in plain sight
Are the findings of the search admissible in court?
If the search took place with a warrant or under any of the legal circumstances outlined above, the evidence is fair game for authorities to use against you. However, if the drug evidence was illegally obtained, the findings are not admissible in court.
Understanding your rights as they relate to lawful police searches and federal drug charges can make a difference when building your defense case.