Florida police took a 47-year-old man into custody in Defuniak Springs after allegedly discovering narcotics and paraphernalia at his home during a raid on Oct. 10. He has been accused of several drug charges, including possession of narcotic equipment, possession of cocaine and possession of a controlled substance.
Media sources report that authorities raided the home after receiving a tip that drugs would be found there. Police searched the man’s home and truck, whereupon police say that they found cocaine and methamphetamine as well as numerous smoking devices.
While authorities typically have some discretion when it comes to searching personal vehicles, modern jurisprudence holds a great deal of reverence for the sanctity of the home. The Fourth Amendment protects residences from unreasonable searches and seizures; in order for a residential search to be reasonable, law enforcement must possess the owner’s consent, a search warrant or an extenuating exigent circumstance justifying the intrusion. Absent one or more of these factors, evidence obtained from the residential search could be suppressed.
Given the serious consequences that come from being convicted of drug offenses and the questions of constitutional propriety inherent in this and similar issues, defendants may well benefit from an experienced defense attorney that can thoroughly investigate the nature and circumstance of the search. Authorities in these cases are expected to preserve documentation regarding the original tip that led to the search, the text of the search warrant and its intended scope, the nature of the illicit materials that were allegedly found and in what condition they were found in and other such matters. All of these and more could potentially be subject to heightened scrutiny from the defendant’s attorney, who may look to undermine the prosecution’s case by calling into question the legal basis for the investigation as a whole.
Source: NWF Daily News, “Man arrested for drug possession“, October 11, 2013
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