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While authorities may have numerous resources to pursue drug cases in Midland, any mistakes law enforcement officials make during the investigation could be used to against the prosecution. A criminal defense attorney could look into constitutional issues in Midland drug cases to help build your defense. If you were arrested for a drug offense and believe your constitutional rights were violated, contact a skilled drug attorney today.
Constitutional Problems With the Traffic Stop
Whether an officer made a legal traffic stop or not is one of the most common constitutional issues in Midland drug cases. If an officer stopped a person for allegedly speeding and then the officer smelled the odor of drugs, then that would be a quality stop. The officer may then search the vehicle and find drugs. However, if it was later determined that the defendant was not actually speeding, the jury will be asked to disregard any illegal activity unless they believe beyond a reasonable doubt that the officer had the right to stop the individual. Since the illegal activity may be the stop, it may not matter what the police found in the search as the jury may be required to disregard it.
An experienced criminal defense lawyer could look at the stop from both the standpoint of the federal constitution and the Texas constitution to determine if the stop was legal. Most of the time, a judge will make the determination to approve a motion to suppress the evidence if the law was violated during the gathering of the evidence.
Search Warrant Issues
A search warrant is nearly always discussed or litigated. After reviewing the facts, an attorney could determine whether there was enough probable cause that the officer had to ask a neutral and detached magistrate to sign a search warrant. Other areas of the search warrant that may be contested may include:
- If the warrant was properly executed
- Was the warrant signed by a proper magistrate under the law
- Was the warrant executed timely
- If there was enough in the four corners of the affidavit that the officer signs to give credence to the warrant
A warrant typically has a 72-hour lifespan to be executed from the time that it is signed by the magistrate. A lawyer could challenge the constitutionality of all evidence found if the warrant is expired.
Other Common Constitutional Issues With Drug Cases
There are many other constitutional issues that may arise in a Midland drug case. For instance, there may be problems with the chemist who is testing the drugs. The district attorney’s office may not wish to bring the actual chemist in and may try to file the report with paperwork related to the testing. The district attorney may then claim the paperwork is enough to be allowed into evidence.
The Fifth Amendment right is something that could also be contested heavily by a defense attorney. Any statements that the accused made while under custodial interrogation may be challenged as the Fifth Amendment gives individuals the right to not incriminate themselves. The Sixth Amendment gives people the right to confront and cross-examine their accuser.
How Constitutional Issues Impact Drug Cases
If one constitutional right is violated by the state, then either certain evidence or the entire case as a whole may be dismissed. This is why it is essential for defendants to reach out to an accomplished lawyer who has experience handling drug cases will know what to look for with regards to constitutional issues in Midland drug cases. If you have been arrested for a drug crime, reach out to an attorney today.