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Search and Seizure in Drug Cases

Massachusetts drug offenses can be attacked in numerous ways to defeat the charges brought by the Commonwealth. In addition to attacking the basis of the Commonwealth evidence that you possessed marijuana, cocaine or other unlawful narcotics, drug charges can be typically defended by challenging the Constitutional basis of a stop if the drug were found pursuant to a traffic stop or the Constitutional basis of the search if a warrant was obtained to search a residence.

  • If drugs were found in your car, there are numerous Constitutional defenses based on the Fourth Amendment.

UNLAWFUL BASIS FOR TRAFFIC STOP AND ORDER TO EXIT THE CAR.

First, the officer must have had reasonable suspicion to that you were violating the law or about to violate the law. If the offense was a traffic offense, you can challenge the officer’s conclusion that you committed a traffic violation. Even if the officer alleges a traffic violation, Massachusetts law does not allow a police officer to automatically require you to get out of the car so that the car can be searched. Unless the officer has some concern for his or her safety, an officer making a traffic stop has no right to order you from the car and should simply issue you a ticket and allow you to leave.

If you were ordered from the car during a stop for a traffic violation, you may be able to have evidence of drug possession or distribution excluded based on the unconstitutional actions of the arresting officer.

NO PROBABLE CAUSE FOR SEARCH WARRANT FOR RESIDENCE

DEFENSES INVOLVING SEARCH WARRANTS: If the police obtain a search warrant for a house, you may be able to exclude the evidence obtained from the search by asserting that there was no probable cause for the judge to issue a search warrant. A judge can only issue a search warrant in a Massachusetts drug offense when an officer prepares an affidavit that provides probable cause to believe that drugs or drug paraphenlia will be found in the place to be searched. Accordingly, if your home was searched pursuant to a warrant, you should call Attorney DelSignore so he can review the warrant and prepare a motion to suppress any of the evidence found.

Often the search warrant affidavit will rely on information supplied to the police by a confidential informant. A police officer can only rely on information supplied from an informant to establish probable cause for a search if the informant is deemed to be both reliable and trustworthy. Accordingly, Attorney DelSignore may be able to successfully defend your drug case by filing a motion to suppress to exclude the evidence through attacking the Constitutional basis for issuing the search warrant.

Contact (508) 455-4755 today to set up a free consultation with Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer Michael DelSignore.