How Attorneys Can Protect Georgetown Residents Whose Fourth Amendment Rights Have Been Violated
This is the next post in our series discussing how search and seizure laws can impact a Georgetown, Texas drug possession case. Our last post discussed the rights that undocumented immigrants have under the Constitution. In this post we will discuss how a criminal defense lawyer can take steps to protect your rights if law enforcement illegally gathered evidence of drug possession. Our attorneys regularly assist Williamson County residents with such issues.
A criminal defense lawyer can challenge the use of illegally seized evidence in Williamson County Courts
Evidence illegally seized from a person can be kept out of a Williamson County, Texas Court. The first step in doing so is to have your attorney file a “Motion To Suppress” the illegally seized evidence. If it is established that one’s rights were violated, and that the violation is what led to the evidence being discovered, then it will be kept out of court under the “exclusionary rule.” It is important to understand, however, that your lawyer must file the request to have the evidence excluded. If the request is not made then the evidence will be admissible even though it may have been collected in violation of one’s rights. This is why it is crucial to hire defense counsel who understands this area of the law.
The prosecution will be given an opportunity to defend the use of seized evidence in Court. At what is referred to as an “evidentiary hearing,” the arresting officers will be asked to testify in regards to the details of the arrest. A jury will not be present for this hearing; only a Judge will make the decision. A Judge may choose to allow all of the evidence, or only a portion of it, to be used during the proceedings. The Judge can also decide to exclude it from Court completely. If the evidence is not allowed to be used at trial then the prosecution will likely drop the charges; a drug case cannot be proven without drugs. If only a portion of the evidence is allowed then the prosecution will not be permitted to mention that which was excluded. The more evidence that can be kept out of Court then the better your chance of reaching a favorable resolution.
Texas defendants often err by presuming that all evidence of drug possession will be admissible
A great mistake, which is often made, is that people simply presume that illegally seized drugs will be admissible. The rights described above, which apply throughout the United States and not just in Texas, stem from the fourth amendment to the United States Constitution. Do not err by thinking that all evidence of drug possession will be automatically admissible in a Texas Court. Our attorneys regularly identify issues in police reports which lead to evidence being excluded from an eventual trial. In addition to Georgetown, we service the surrounding communities of Austin, Bartlett, Cedar Park, Florence, Granger, Hutto, Jarrell, Leander, Liberty Hill, Round Rock, Taylor, Thrall, and Weir.