Understanding the Exclusionary Rule in California Drug Crime Cases

Understanding the Exclusionary Rule in California Drug Crime Cases

Imagine yourself enjoying a peaceful get-together with pals in your home. You slightly open the door after hearing a loud knock. Police are present. They say they received a noise complaint and ask to enter. Even when you object, two officers ignore you and begin to enter your home.

The next thing you know, you’re being arrested for drug possession after they open a drawer in your bedroom and discover some tablets. What can you do? Call a drug defense attorney in Los Angeles, California as soon as possible to assert your right to remain silent.

These are just two of the constitutional protections you have against governmental repression. The evidence that was seized from your home may be suppressed, or eliminated, from the case against you, depending on another constitutional protection, the freedom against unwarranted searches and seizures. Read on to learn more and then contact Chambers Law Firm at 714-760-4088 for a free legal consultation.

You Are Protected by the Fourth Amendment

Law enforcement officials must typically get a warrant before conducting searches under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. There are a few instances where a warrant is not necessary, such as when something that is obviously illegal is in plain sight or when there are emergency situations. Yet, in general, if you don’t provide your consent and the police want to search your property, they require a warrant.

Law enforcement must request for a search warrant from a judge and provide detailed information about the areas to be searched and the goods to be seized in order for the warrant to be lawful. Probable cause that a crime has been committed must be provided to support the warrant application. The cops cannot go beyond a warrant if one is issued (with a few exceptions).

The police did not have a warrant in the case mentioned above, and there was no exigency that would have allowed them to enter your home. Also, you didn’t permit people to search it. These details can be used by a knowledgeable drug defense attorney in Los Angeles, CA to create a motion to suppress.

Motions to Suppress Can Be Filed to Have Evidence Excluded

A motion to suppress is a formal request to the court for the exclusion of any evidence obtained through an unauthorized search. Your drug defense attorney is requesting that the court exclude any illegally seized property from being given back to you since the police violated your constitutional rights. The exclusionary rule states that evidence gathered through unauthorized searches or seizures is not admissible in court.

The Exclusionary Rule Goes Further Than What the Police Initially Found

The exclusionary rule doesn’t just apply to what the police initially seized from your residence. Imagine that the police obtained a warrant to investigate your financial records and all of your property based on the pills the officers recovered. During the search, they discovered proof indicating you were a drug dealer.

The “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine states that any evidence derived from illegally obtained evidence must be suppressed. Thus, if the evidence from the illegal search is suppressed, all of the other evidence must be suppressed as well. In other words, if the police hadn’t illegally searched your home in the first place, they would never have discovered that you were trafficking narcotics.

The facts of each case will determine how the exclusionary rule is used. Chambers Law Firm is available if you have been accused of a crime. For a free initial consultation, call us at 714-760-4088 or email dchambers@clfca.com right now.

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