Determining Whether One’s Rights Were Violated During a Texas Narcotics Arrest
This is the next post in our series discussing how search and seizure laws impact narcotics-related cases in Williamson County, Texas. Our last post provided an overview of future topics and briefly explained why search and seizure laws are often key to defending against drug charges. This article will explain one’s rights under the Fourth Amendment and discuss how these rights are often an issue in drug-related arrests.
Texas police officers must have “reasonable suspicion” of criminal activity prior to stopping Central Texas residents
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides people with the right against unreasonable searches or seizures of property by law enforcement. This means that Texas police officers cannot stop a person on the street and search simply because they want to. An officer who wishes to detain a person on the street must have “reasonable suspicion” that one is engaging in criminal activity. Reasonable suspicion can be based on the officer’s training, education, and experience. What constitutes “reasonable suspicion” will be specific to the facts of each individual case. Such suspicion, however, cannot be based on things such as ethnicity.
A Texas officer’s investigation of someone cannot go beyond the reasonable suspicion for which the person was stopped. This means that if an officer detains someone for jaywalking then the officer does not have free reign to go on a fishing expedition to look for evidence of other crimes. Officer’s are only permitted to investigate additional activity of a seized person if something happens, during the initial stop, which gives rise to suspicion of additional criminal activity.
Violations of the aforementioned rights are more common in Georgetown and Austin, Texas than many realize. It is fairly common for the violation of one’s rights to be readily apparent in an officer’s arrest report. A criminal defense lawyer, who is familiar with this area of the law, can keep illegally seized evidence out of Court if it can be established that your rights were violated by the police. This is why it is crucial that you hire an attorney who understands a person’s Fourth Amendment Rights.
Hire a Texas criminal defense attorney who understands the Fourth Amendment
Search and Seizure issues comprise a complicated area of law. Hiring an attorney who is familiar with these types of cases can make the difference in whether your case ends with a dismissal or with your pleading guilty. Our lawyers practice heavily in the area of criminal defense and have a history of Texas residents with such issues. We will immediately obtain the arrest reports, and security video footage, and determine if potential witnesses can testify in regards to violations of one’s rights by the police. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation. 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.