If you have been charged with a drug crime, the police must have some sort of evidence against you. This evidence is often the product of a search and seizure on behalf of the police. You should be aware that the police must follow very specific rules when they search places. Additionally, many of these rules apply when they want to seize property from a person.
In most cases, these rules require that police have probable cause to search places or to seize property. You may be wondering — what is probable cause?
Probable cause is required by the United States Constitution. When police are searching a specific place, they have probable cause if they have enough evidence to believe that the place was the location of a crime. In order to do this, the evidence must be such that a reasonable person would think that a crime was committed in that location or that evidence of a crime exists at that location.
Additionally, the constitution requires that police have probable cause to seize property. In these cases, probable cause exists when evidence would make a reasonable person believe that the property is evidence of a crime, is stolen or is contraband.
In many cases, having probable cause is not enough to perform a search, police also need a search warrant. Warrants have their own set of legal requirements.
Additionally, there are many situations where a police officer may be able to search a location or take property without probable cause. However, these exceptions are limited to very specific situations. While this blog post can only give general information, an attorney can give specific advice when someone is facing drug charges following a police search or seizure.