One of the fundamental rights of those in Louisiana or anywhere in the country is the protection from unlawful search and seizure. This means that law enforcement must follow rigid procedures to avoid violating the rights of someone they suspect of a crime. Police may not search someone’s home, car or person without appropriate cause and, in some cases, a warrant. When building a criminal defense, one may work to exclude any evidence collected during an unlawful search.
Police searches are often carefully examined after someone is arrested for a crime. Often, as in the case of a recent arrest, officers search a vehicle during a routine traffic stop if they suspect the driver is involved in drug crimes. However, they must have a reason to pull the driver over and probable cause to conduct a search.
In this case, police claim the 41-year-old driver was weaving across the lines on the highway, prompting them to perform a traffic stop. A drug-sniffing K-9 was brought to the scene, and the dog apparently alerted, arguably giving officers cause to search. Police reported finding powder cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana in sufficient amounts to charge the man with intent to distribute. They also reported finding drug paraphernalia, including scales and cash.
The penalties for conviction for these charges include the possibility of many years in prison and substantial fines. A strong criminal defense against drug charges may begin with a careful examination of the events that occurred before and during the search. Those in Louisiana facing drug charges may benefit from the representation of a skilled attorney.