Under the United States’ Constitution, we are protected against illegal searches and seizures. Because of this protection police can’t just walk up to someone and search them for no reason. If the search isn’t justified the evidence found during the search isn’t likely to be admissible in court.
The legitimacy of a search is often questioned during criminal trials. If the defense attorney can show the search was illegal, the evidence against a defendant can be thrown out and the charges potentially dropped.
One case out of Savannah is heading to the state Supreme Court, leaving it up to the high court whether or not crack cocaine found in a man’s pocket should have been allowed at his probation revocation proceedings.
According to the Savannah Morning News, the man was standing with a group beside a tagless car whose windows they were tinting. The police suspected the car may be stolen so stopped to investigate. They told the men to stand still but the defendant began walking away.
It was then that the police allegedly took the defendant to the ground and then commenced a pat search. In addition to “noticing” a gun on the defendant, crack cocaine was found in his pocket. The defendant was on probation for a cocaine charge at the time of the search.
At trial, his attorney argued there was not sufficient reason for the police to stop and search his client. The trial court agreed. The Appeals Court, however, did not.
In response to the Appeals Court decision, the defense attorney stated that the trial judge weighed the “credibility of the officers testifying” while the Appeals court did not. The prosecution states the search was lawful and the Appellate Court’s reversal was as well.
The legal rules of evidence can be confusing even for a law student. When you are accused of a crime, this is one of the many reasons you hire a defense attorney. Understand exactly how you are protected against an illegal search and whether or not a search is, in fact, illegal is your attorney’s job.
If you are facing charges of possession or even distribution, our defense attorneys can help. After hearing more about your case, we can help prepare you so you understand your options and the chances you have at beating the charges in court.