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Was that search and seizure legal?

| Jun 9, 2017 | Drug Charges |

Imagine heading out of town to go hit the beach with some of your friends. You were looking forward to a nice weekend getaway, soaking up the sun and enjoying a good party. However, before you even made it out of the city, a police officer pulled you over and your weekend was interrupted by an arrest for drug possession. The law enforcement officers searched your vehicle and found marijuana, but was the search and seizure legal?

Drug possession charges can have lasting consequences that can affect employment opportunities and even your ability to get an apartment. If you are facing drug charges, it’s important to remember that you have the right to defend yourself in court. An experienced criminal defense attorney in the Kew Gardens area can help you fight against drug possession charges. Read further to find out more about search and seizure laws.

Constitutional rights

The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protects your rights against “unreasonable” search and seizures. This means that you and your property are protected. While there are many instances where a search and seizure is completely reasonable and justified, if you had the right to expect a certain measure of privacy, then the search may have been unreasonable.

Privacy

The Supreme Court has approved a two-part test that will determine whether or not you should have expected a reasonable level of privacy. First, did you expect privacy at the time the search occurred? Second, was it reasonable for you to expect privacy in that particular situation?

Reasonable expectations

There are certain situations that the populace, in general, expects to maintain a certain degree of privacy. For example, you expect your home to be a private space that is inaccessible to random individuals. In order for the police to search your home, they must have a warrant unless there are extenuating circumstances.

When it comes to your car, the general rule is that you should not have anything in it that you would not want the cops or any other people to see. The court maintains that people should expect a lower level of privacy when it comes to their vehicles. With regard to bags, purses or briefcases, the court has acknowledged people generally have a right to expect privacy. This is true even in public spaces.

If you have been subjected to an illegal search and seizure that you feel may have violated your right to privacy, you may be able to successfully fight against possession charges.

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