You have been arrested for a drug offense because the cops found drugs on you and claimed they were yours. Do you have a way to avoid jail time and a criminal record? You may if the police violated your constitutional rights.
Cops often make mistakes in the way they do their job. They may search your vehicle without legal cause. They may stop your vehicle when they have no legal right to do so. They may illegally search the contents of your cellphone. So what can you do when this happens?
How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help You
If you believe law enforcement officials violated your constitutional rights, the first thing you need to do is contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to review your case in detail. You will need to prepare a complete summary of the facts of your case, which should include the name, address and contact information of all witnesses who may provide favorable evidence to help you.
Your criminal defense lawyer will review all statements and compare them to the police report. If you and your attorney agree the police may have violated your constitutional rights, your defense lawyer will file a motion to suppress the evidence against you. A hearing will then take place where the judge will decide if the evidence recovered from you must be suppressed. If this happens, it is likely your case will be dismissed.
Why Evidence Against You Could Be Thrown Out
There are many reasons why the court may rule in your favor and throw out evidence against you. A few recent cases indicate why hiring a criminal defense attorney to help you may make the difference between you going to jail and being free.
People v. Walker (H037287, Oct. 18, 2012)
In People v. Walker, a black man was stopped by the local sheriff because the officer felt that he might have committed a sexual battery earlier in the week. Subsequent to the stop, police officers found cocaine base and marijuana on the suspect. He was prosecuted for drug offenses.
However, the case was thrown out of court when the Court of Appeals ruled that the police cannot stop someone simply because the person is the same race as the suspect in a crime. Instead, the police must point to specific similarities between the person stopped and the description given of the suspect in the alleged crime. All charges against Walker were dropped because his criminal defense lawyer filed the correct legal motion.1
People v. Werner (H037156, July 20, 2012)
In People vs. Werner, a defendant was arrested outside of his home for domestic violence. After his arrest, police entered the accused’s home, with his roommate showing them the way, and found illegal drugs in his bedroom. He was prosecuted for both the domestic violence charge and drug offenses.
However, a motion to suppress evidence was filed claiming the police had no right to go into the man’s bedroom because he was arrested outside of his home. The court agreed with his criminal defense lawyers and suppressed all drug evidence. This meant that all drug charges were dropped against Werner.
Florida v. Jardines (No. 11-564, March 26, 2013)
The U.S. Supreme court ruled that police cannot bring a drug-sniffing dog onto your porch without a warrant in Florida v. Jardines. In this case, a drug-sniffing dog was brought to the porch of Jardines’ home. After the dog detected drugs on the premises, police searched the home and seized drugs. The defendant was convicted of drug charges.
His conviction was thrown out of court and he was set free when the Supreme Court said the police had no right to enter Jardines’ property and bring the dog onto his porch without first obtaining a warrant.
Your Constitutional Rights May Have Been Violated. What Do You Do Next?
These three cases illustrate that you may be able to have your criminal charges dismissed if your constitutional rights were violated by the police at the time of your arrest. This is why your first step after being released from custody is to speak with the most experienced criminal defense law firm you can find.
At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled and knowledgeable attorneys have been successfully defending our clients facing criminal charges for over 30 years. We can review the facts of your case to see if any of your rights were violated and help you obtain the best result possible.
With offices located in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (888) 280-6839 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.