Why You Should Refuse Law Enforcement Requests To Search Your Belongings
Two men in the Denton area were recently detained with 85 pounds of marijuana after a Denton law enforcement officer searched their vehicle, which was located in a parking lot. The two men were subsequently charged with possession of marijuana between 50 and 2,000 pounds, which is classified as a second degree felony in the state of Texas. Law enforcement reports that the men made a sudden right turn while driving, which caused the vehicle’s tires to squeal. The vehicle then stopped in front of a school and turned off its lights. At this point, law enforcement approached the vehicle to determine why the driver had stopped there. The officer smelled marijuana coming from the men who were then detained. While one of the men reported that there were three ounces of marijuana in the vehicle, law enforcement ended up finding a much larger amount in several duffel bags located in the vehicle’s trunk. Both men were subsequently taken to Denton County jail.
If you are stopped while driving by law enforcement, it is important to know what steps can be taken to protect yourself and your property. One of the most common situations that a person should know how to handle is when law enforcement asks to search a person’s belongings or the trunk area of his or her car. There are several reasons why people should refuse to allow these types of police searches to be performed.
It is Your Fourth Amendment Right
The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects people against unreasonable searches and seizures. Unless law enforcement is able to find probable cause to believe a person is engaged in criminal activity, they are required to obtain permission from a person prior to searching his or her property. As a result, unless one of few exceptions exists, a person has the constitutional right to refuse a search by law enforcement. This means that you should not feel uncomfortable or uneasy in these situations to assert your rights.
Refusing a Search Protects Your Case
If there is any possibility that law enforcement will find something as the result of a search, it is importan that a person refuses to give consent. If law enforcement finds anything illegal after a person grants a request to search and a search is conducted, a person’s case will be significantly weakened. If a person declines a request to a search, law enforcement will be required to prove in a court of law that there was probable cause to perform a warrantless search.
Declining a Request can Entirely Prevent a Search
Some people believe that law enforcement will always search regardless of whether a person grants permission or not, but this is not true. Refusing a search works because it prevents law enforcement from obtaining any additional evidence of how a crime might have occurred.
Obtain the Assistance of a Seasoned Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you are involved in a criminal case that included a search by law enforcement, it is important to obtain the assistance of a skilled criminal defense attorney who can help create a strong legal defense. Speak to a seasoned attorney at Wheeler Law Offices today to make sure that your case resolves in the best possible manner.
(image courtesy of Samuel Zeller)