People arrested for drug arrests have any rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution. Typically in drug-related cases, attorneys look at issues surrounding the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, which are protections afforded to a person against unlawful searches and seizures and protections against self-incrimination.
For example, you cannot be detained without the reasonable suspicion of unlawful activity, and you or property belonging to you, cannot be searched without probable cause, a warrant, or consent given by the individual for that particular search. Those are just some of your rights during a Ft. Lauderdale drug arrest. If you want to know what other rights you have, or need help protecting those rights, contact an experienced drug lawyer who can help.
Consenting to Police Searches
Typically in a traffic stop, an officer would make an argument based on reasonable suspicion or probable cause that they have a right to search the vehicle even without consent. If they do not have any factors that would give them the right to search, they would need to obtain the consent of the individual to effectuate the search of the vehicle.
A person should stay informed about their rights during a Ft. Lauderdale drug arrest, especially their rights regarding unlawful search and seizure. It is usually good practice to deny law enforcement’s request to search the vehicle because if there are no other grounds to search, an individual would not want to give a law enforcement officer the right to search a personal or private property when they might otherwise not have the right or ability.
What is the Difference Between an Arrest Warrant and a Search Warrant?
When the court issues an arrest warrant against someone, the court is asking for law enforcement to take them into custody. On the other hand, when a person is issued a search warrant, they are required to allow law enforcement to enter their residence, building, or business to enter and take into custody certain pieces of evidence or items. Both types of warrants are governed by the Fourth Amendment and issued by the Court. It is important to note that if there are items found during a search that would indicate that the person in question is involved in some type of criminal activity, they could be arrested.
Importance of Possession and Knowledge
Drug-related cases hinge on two main factors: possession and knowledge. If an individual is not in possession or constructive possession of a drug or unlawful substance, they typically cannot be charged under the drug statute in Florida, which would be chapter 893. Almost every provision in that chapter requires either actual, constructive or joint possession. That means that more than one person can be in possession of one item.
For example, if two individuals are in a vehicle, the driver gets pulled and it is discovered that the driver is in possession of an unlawful substance like a baggie containing a misdemeanor amount of marijuana or cannabis, and it is found in the pocket belonging to the individual driving the car, it could be argued that the passenger did not have dominion and control over somebody else’s pocket, so they would not be in possession of the marijuana in this particular case.
That is an example where somebody is at the scene of a drug arrest of the driver and under that set of circumstances, they would not face any consequences. Anyone present is potentially at risk, but the arrest is a function of the particular facts and circumstances.
What Should a Person Avoid Discussing with the Police?
The general rule is, say as little as possible. One of the most important rights during a Ft. Lauderdale drug arrest is the right to remain silent. According to the Fifth Amendment, individuals have the right to remain silent and not be forced to speak to law enforcement unless they want to. An individual should avoid discussing any facts dealing with the particular allegations and the particular arrest with law enforcement on a drug-related case.
Usually, it is best to say as little as possible. If an individual keeps their responses limited to issues surrounding identification or booking, they can typically steer clear of putting themselves in jeopardy by saying something that can be used against them as direct evidence in a case of a prosecution against them.
How Remaining Silent Can Help
Even an individual who would innocently engage law enforcement in conversation might say something that they are not unaware of that could eventually be used against them as evidence. Incriminating statements like admitting that a person is at a particular location, on a particular date, and at a particular time places that individual at the scene of the event that law enforcement is investigating or seeking to have somebody arrested for.
It is best not to say anything unless asked and invoke or rely on a person’s Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination and the right granted by the Fifth Amendment to remain silent and not answer any questions put forth by law enforcement.
Contacting a Lawyer
If you have been arrested for a drug offense, it is imperative that you know what your rights during a Ft. Lauderdale drug arrest are. Any violation of your rights can play an instrumental role in your defense. Speak with a capable defense attorney that can devote the time and resources necessary, to build your case. Contact an attorney and know that you are in capable hands.