I am often retained to represent individuals who are charged with Possession of Marijuana, Possession of a Controlled Substance or Possession of a Dangerous Drug. The person is usually arrested after the person consents for the police officer to search their vehicle or home. I always ask why did you consent to the search. My client's usually tell me they did not know they could refuse to allow the officer to search their vehicle or home.
The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. As a general rule a police officer is required to have a warrant supported by probable cause to search someone's house, property or person. However, there are several exceptions to the warrant requirement. One exception is the individual consents to the search. If the person who is searched consents to the search then the police officer no longer needs a warrant to search the person or property. In the event the officer finds marijuana, a controlled substance or dangerous drug the evidence will be admissible in court at trial. Therefore, it is always best to deny the officer permision to search you, your house or your property.
When an officer asks to search you or your property, politely inform the officer you do not want the officer to perform the search. If the officer asks what you have to hide, again politely inform the officer, you do not want the officer to search your person or property. If the officer searches your person, vehicle or property without your consent and finds marijuana, a controlled substance or a dangerous drug you may be able to prevent the evidence from being admitted against you at trial.
While there are other exceptions to the warrant requirement do not allow your consent to be the reason you get arrested, charged or convicted of a crime.
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