Facing criminal charges of any kind can be a harrowing experience. If a search of your home has left you accused of drug possession, without intricate knowledge or your legal rights, you might have been uncertain how to respond to the situation.
While being questioned by law enforcement agents, you may have felt obligated to comply with their request to perform a search. However, without the presence of a warrant, you may retain the right to refuse this request, and if authorities violated your rights during a search, the charges against you could be reduced or dropped entirely.
The search and seizure process
In most cases, authorities must obtain a warrant or have probable cause before they can initiate the search of a home. However, a search may be lawful without the presence of a warrant under certain scenarios, some of which may include:
- Consent to search: When a resident of a home agrees to allow authorities to search the premises, a warrant may no longer be necessary. However, without consent, performing a search without the presence of a warrant could be a violation of your rights.
- Responding to an emergency: Upon responding to an emergency call, such as reports of danger to the residents of a home, police may be able to enter and search the establishment without a warrant.
- Presence of an arrest: If authorities make a lawful arrest inside the home, they might have grounds to search the surrounding area.
- Visible evidence: If law enforcement officials notice drugs or other contraband in plain view as they speak with the home's occupants, they may no longer need a warrant to initiate a search.
If an illegal search of your residence has left you facing potentially devastating consequences, you may wish to protect yourself by challenging the charges. Since the criminal justice system can be complex, it could be in your best interests to seek guidance in the process.
Protecting your rights
When facing a potential conviction for drug possession charges, you may be feeling somewhat overwhelmed and uncertain how best to approach the situation. However, by seeking guidance from someone with intricate knowledge in Georgia state laws concerning your current predicament, you could gain some much-needed assistance in forming a strong defense. This type of guidance could help prepare you to protect your rights and seek a favorable outcome during any subsequent court proceedings.