Constitutional Issues in Richmond Drug Distribution Cases  

A Richmond drug lawyer would have the knowledge necessary in drug distribution cases. Constitutional issues in Richmond drug distribution cases can be particularly cumbersome. Let a Richmond drug lawyer help you with your drug case.

Constitutional Issues

With every drug distribution case, the Fourth and the Fifth Amendments are always considered. The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution provides citizens with certain rights, notably, to be free from illegal searches and seizures. It is used in any distribution case to see if an undercover officer has done anything illegal to either seize an individual or illegally search them.

The Fifth Amendment provides citizens’ the right to remain silent, the right to have Miranda warnings given if he or she is inside of a custodial interrogation. These issues will also be crucial in any case a person deals with any kind of a drug possession or in a distribution case. And if the police arrest the person and tries to use statements against them, talk about things they have done in the past, or if they were going to sell drugs, all of this can potentially be used against them as well. The Fourth and Fifth Amendment are important in constitutional issues in Richmond drug distribution cases.

Miranda Rights

Miranda rights, while it is present in every case, it may not always be relevant to every case. Miranda rights protect a person from having the police officer, state, or state actors use any statements that the person has made against them while they were in custodial interrogation and were not read their Miranda rights. A person needs a couple of things to happen before Miranda rights can be relevant as a constitutional issue in Richmond drug distribution cases.

Conditions for Miranda Rights Issue

The first thing that has to happen to make a Miranda rights issue relevant to a Richmond drug distribution case, is the person has to be in custody. This means either the person was handcuffed, arrested, and detained. The key to determining whether a person is in custody depends on whether the person is in a position where a reasonable person would not feel that they had the freedom to leave. The person must also be interrogated. The police officer, the Commonwealth, or whomever the state actor is, either asked the person a question or did something to them or around them that would lead them to give an inculpatory response.

Under these conditions, the person should be Mirandized, meaning they should be read their Miranda Rights. If the person has not been Mirandized, then any statements that the person makes cannot be used against them in court. This is another constitutional issue in a Richmond drug distribution case.

Exceptions to Miranda

There are different exceptions to Miranda rights and requirements, one of them being inevitable discovery. This means that law enforcement cannot retrieve information or statements without a search warrant or by illegal means. For example, if an allegedly charged person makes a statement to a law enforcement official who was in their home illegally, the court cannot use the statement because the officer did not have a search warrant.

If the police would have found the drugs one way or the other, they could use the inevitable discovery exception to the Miranda warning and that they would have found the drugs regardless. In this case, the judge is not likely to suppress the drugs even though the judge suppressed the statement. So there are different situations and circumstance that can limit the rights and protections afforded to citizens by the Fourth and Fifth Amendment.

Hiring a Lawyer

Because constitutional issues in a Richmond drug distribution case can be complicated, a person might not be able to navigate the situation themselves. Find an attorney that is well-versed in these cases and call a Richmond drug lawyer today.

Richmond Drug Distribution Lawyer