In Fort Lauderdale, drug lawyers frequently hear these questions: What constitutes a legal versus illegal search and seizure? And if a search was illegal, what does that mean with regard to my drug charge?
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution was established to afford U.S. citizens a reasonable degree of privacy and to protect them against search or seizure without some valid reason for doing so. In order for a search or seizure to be considered “reasonable,” it must be supported by a warrant, though there are exceptions to that requirement.
Exceptions to the requirement for a search warrant include:
A search incidental to an arrest: If an individually has been lawfully arrested, authorities may search in order to locate weapons and prevent the destruction of evidence.
Consent: An individual may waive his Fourth Amendment rights and provide consent for authorities to search.
Object in plain view: If a law enforcement officer can see an object in plain view and has a legal right to be in such a position to view that object, search and seizure if permissible and legal without a warrant.
Vehicle exception: A vehicle may be searched if law enforcement has reason to believe that it contains contraband and that waiting for a warrant to be obtained would mean the vehicle could be moved before being searched.
Imminent emergency situation: If a life is in peril, law enforcement may make the determination that a search or seizure is reasonable when there isn’t ample time to obtain a warrant.
Law enforcement officers may legally conduct a search and detain an individual if they have an articulable suspicion that criminal activity is in progress. Although the Fourth Amendment is straightforward in its language, there are still exceptions that work to the advantage of both sides of the law. If you are facing a Fort Lauderdale drug charge, and especially if that charge resulted from a questionable search and seizure, consult Fort Lauderdale drug lawyer Michael Leader today to review the details of the search and of the charges against you.
Fort Lauderdale Drug Lawyer Michael Leader at Leader & Leader, PA, is an experienced, aggressive Fort Lauderdale criminal law firm that has a breadth of experience with drug laws and charges in South Florida. With more than 68 years combined experience the Fort Lauderdale drug lawyers at Leader & Leader will defend you against drug charges and other criminal charges from pre-case filing efforts to trial and appeal, if necessary. We serve Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Monroe counties in state and federal court criminal matters. For more information, visit http://criminallawleader.com/ or call 954.523.2020. Initial consultations available 24 hours, 7 days a week via telephone.