SEARCH AND SEIZURE IN DRUG CASES
Fourth Amendment Defenses for Drug Prosecutions
The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protects citizens from “unreasonable
searches and seizures.” Police must obtain your consent or a judge’s
authorization to search your person, your vehicle or your home unless
the circumstances permit a warrantless search.
The search warrant requirement has many exceptions. However, law enforcement
does not always act pursuant to a valid exception when conducting a search
without a warrant. If law enforcement illegally searches or seizes evidence
in violation of your Fourth Amendment Right, it must be suppressed. This
means that the evidence found pursuant to the unlawful search cannot be
used as evidence against you in court. In state and federal court, charges
of drug possession or possession with intent to distribute often hinge
on whether the search was legal.
The criminal defense lawyers of the Berry Law Firm have successfully confronted
drug charges on Fourth Amendment grounds in both state and federal trial
courts and courts of appeals.
We handle felony
drug crime cases in state and federal courts of Nebraska, from unlawful search and seizure cases to
possessing or transporting narcotics and allegations of
drug trafficking and conspiracy. Contact us today to
schedule a consultation with our veteran trial lawyers in Lincoln and Omaha.
Drug Search & Seizure: Nebraska Criminal Lawyers
The Fourth Amendment is clear and concise:
"The right of the 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.”
This means that police cannot arbitrarily barge into your home or business.
To request a warrant, they must produce a well-articulated reason based
on facts (“probable cause”) that you have committed a crime.
The warrant must be specific about what police expect to find and what
they can seize.
We have challenged drug prosecutions on many fronts:
- Traffic stops without probable cause or reasonable suspicion
- Vehicle searches or arrests without probable cause
- Searching homes or grounds without a warrant
- Seizing property not sought or detailed in the warrant
- Unlawful detainment while drug-sniffing dogs are summoned
- Coercion or threats after refusing to consent to a search
- Warrants based on false, faulty or stale information
Illegal Search and Seizure in Drug Cases
If the basis for the traffic stop or warrant was invalid, or if police
exceeded the scope of the warrant, the prosecution’s entire case
may crumble. We aggressively file motions to suppress ill-gotten evidence.
This may lead to dismissed charges, reduced charges or fruitful negotiations
with the prosecuting attorney. If the case proceeds to trial, search and
seizure violations provide the reasonable doubt for a mistrial or acquittal.
Call Us at (402) 817-6550 to Arrange a Consultation at Our Offices in Lincoln or Omaha