A search and seizure warrant in drug cases may be issued when there is enough probable cause and reasonable suspicion that evidence from a crime is being hidden in that place or with the person.
The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects individuals against unreasonable searches and seizures by law enforcement officers:
The right of people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
In other words, police cannot search you or your property without a warrant, and they must have probable cause to obtain a warrant. The protection also applies to persons, papers, and effects.
Probable Cause and Reasonable Suspicious in Minnesota
The confusion between probable cause and reasonable suspicion has been the subject of challenge in many Supreme Court cases for distinct reasons.
The law defines these two terms as:
Probable cause: exists if an officer has reason to believe that a crime has occurred or is about to happen and/or if the person possesses evidence of a crime.
Reasonable suspicion: means that any reasonable person would suspect that a crime was in the process of being committed, had been committed, or was going to be committed very soon. The officer can detain, search for weapons, and question the person. If, after questioning, the person’s answers are reasonable and there no longer exists reasonable suspicion, the officer must let the person go.
Minnesota Search and Seizure Warrant in Drug Cases
The Court’s judge issues the warrants, and it is typically detailed to law enforcement to avoid invasion of privacy and break the Fourth Amendment’s rights.
The Search and Seizure warrant has to inform the police officer:
- Where they can search.
- When they can search (period of time).
- When the temporary authority to search expires.
- What types of items and or people are sought by the warrant.
- Any other special conditions attached to the authority to search and that particular case.
While the issue of a warrant is needed in most cases, in the State of Minnesota, there are some circumstances where a warrantless search and seizure is possible. The exceptions applied for situations where:
- When searching a person after a lawful arrest to locate and/or prevent the destruction of evidence.
- When the individual voluntarily waives their Fourth Amendment rights.
- When the evidence is on the plain view of the officer.
- When searching vehicles.
- In an instance where life or safety is at risk.
- When the officer receives consent.
Minnesota Search and Seizure Defense
Understanding searches and seizures and warrants can be challenging as many factors can contribute to it. If you or your loved ones have been subjected to an unlawful search, you have the right to challenge it in Court. In drug cases, a challenge to evidence can totally change the development of your case.
It is crucial to find an attorney to help you determine whether your rights were violated and protect you if charges are brought against you because of the search. It can mean the difference between a dismissal and a conviction.
Minneapolis Criminal Defense Attorney Judith Samson
With over 20 years of experience, Judith Samson and her team work tirelessly to provide a welcoming and trustworthy environment while preparing the defense case for her clients, always providing honest and straightforward options with realistic outcomes.
Call (612) 333-8001, email us at [email protected] or complete the online form. Our phones are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Judith Samson represents people throughout the State of Minnesota and can meet you anywhere, anytime.
Disclaimer: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.