What Happens to Illegally Obtained Evidence?
When police perform a search, there are certain rules they have to follow. The fourth amendment guarantees protection from unreasonable search and seizure to every American. The exact words read:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Unfortunately, these rules aren’t always followed and illegal searches happen all the time. This this is especially true in drug cases. As an OKC drug lawyer, we always check to make sure any searches were performed properly and lawfully when we defend a client against drug charges.
So if the search is proven to be illegal, what happens to the evidence? Thanks to the handy dandy constitution, any evidence found via an illegal search is normally deemed inadmissible. This exclusionary rule means that if the cops illegally search your car and find 5 kilos of Colombian bam bam in car, the case probably won’t hold up in court.
This is why it’s so important to work with an OKC drug lawyer who knows the ins and outs of Oklahoma search and seizure laws.
Protection from illegal searches can sometimes go a step further than just evidence found directly by an illegal search. There’s a legal doctrine known as fruit of the poisonous tree, which says evidence found as the result of an illegal search can’t be used either.
For example, if the cops illegally take your phone and start going through it and happen to find a text about where your secret stash of pot is, they can’t use the pot, or the text, against you.
Your right go about your day without being searched for no good reason is not something you should let slip away. If your rights were violated during an illegal search and you’re facing drug charges as a result, give us a call for a free consultation.