Facing a drug charge of any kind can be stressful, but it is all the more stressful not knowing what to do when charged with a drug offense. Too often, people simply take it as fact that they have to plead guilty. However, nothing could be further from the truth.
Typically speaking, all drug cases will result from a search by police. That search can be either without a person's consent, such as when police claim they have independent probably cause to search, or when a person consents to that search. Probable cause exists when police have a reasonable basis to believe a crime has, is, or will occur. Although this sounds simple, it can be anything but simple in application. Likewise, whether or not someone's consent to search was voluntarily given is equally complex.
Anytime someone is charged with a crime, our Constitution is involved, and the Constitution protects us from our government searching us unreasonably. What is or is not considered unreasonable can depend on the circumstances, and when a person is searched in violation of our Constitution, there is a basis to suppress the evidence. Issues relating to a search deal with the most fundamental aspects of constitutional law. Figuring out when a person's rights were violated can depend on several things, from the facts of their case according to police to what witnesses and other evidence indicate actually happened, and all of this has to be factored into more than a hundred years of appellate court opinions.
When police claim they had probable cause to search, we have seen that it is often the case that they did not, or that someone's rights were violated when they developed that probable cause. Identifying when probable cause did and did not exist, not to mention identifying when police are being fully forthcoming with the circumstances under which they developed that probable cause, is not easy. Similarly, people frequently consent to their body being searched or to their property being searched, but fail to realize that the very circumstances under which they gave that consent can form the basis to suppress the evidence the police found.
Identifying when a person's constitutional rights were violated is not easy, and, in fact, can be quite complex. With various appellate courts ruling differently and the facts of every case being different, it is easy for even experienced lawyers to get it wrong. That is one reason why Johnson Law Group works together, making sure we review all of the evidence. This way, we make sure nothing gets missed, because we work together in evaluating the evidence. Through our efforts, we have been successful in getting all kinds of cases dismissed or amended from Class X felonies to misdemeanors, and we are here to help 24 hours a day.
Copyright © 2017 by Brendan Bukalski
The information provided in this column is general in nature, and should not be relied upon as legal advice or interpreted as creating an attorney-client relationship. As a general rule, all specific legal problems should be handled by an individual's attorney. All rights reserved. Any copying, duplication, or commercial use of the information contained in this column is strictly prohibited without prior permission.