Law Enforcement Mistakes Used in a Richmond Drug Defense 

A lot can happen during a drug arrest. Tensions run high, and everything may seem like it is happening rapidly. It can be difficult to think about what your rights are and whether they have been violated or not when so much is happening, but it is important to stay aware of what is happening.

During the arrest, any mistakes that the police make can impact your case and the validity of the evidence that they have collected. If you want to know more about law enforcement mistakes used in a Richmond drug defense, and how these mistakes could impact your case, speak with an experienced drug lawyer that can help.

Constitutional Violations

The first and most common of the law enforcement mistakes used in a Richmond drug defense is a constitutional violation. A police officer can violate someone’s Fourth and Fifth Amendments. The Fourth Amendment gives someone the right to be free from unreasonable and unlawful searches and seizures.

Violation of Fourth Amendment Rights

An officer can commit a violation of someone’s Fourth Amendment constitutional right in a few ways. They can unreasonably seize someone. They can illegally seize someone without having a reasonable suspicion that crime is afoot. They can seize someone without probable cause. They can search someone without probable cause. They can search someone without reasonable, articulable suspicion.

If they do that, then no matter what the police find, a good drug lawyer could file a motion to suppress the evidence in the case, and have that evidence excluded from the trial so that the person is automatically going to have their case dismissed because they cannot use the illegal act to forward their prosecution against the person.

Fifth Amendment Rights

Fifth Amendment rights protect individuals from incriminating themselves. Law enforcement mistakes used in a Richmond drug defense include things like not reading someone their Miranda rights. An officer might interrogate someone without first reading them their Miranda warnings. If they do that, then any statements that the person makes cannot be used against them.

If someone made a statement saying admitting that they do sell drugs because they are poor, and that statement was elicited by the officer and they charge the person with distribution as opposed to simple possession, they can have that statement suppressed. When it gets to court, they do not have any way to show that the person is a drug dealer or that they are a simple possessor. It would drop the charge down dramatically.

Procedural Errors

Other law enforcement mistakes used in a Richmond drug defense, are procedural errors that the police may make. For example, sometimes the officers have issues with their field tests, so they do not follow the instructions on their field tests and their field tests come back inconclusive.

Sometimes the officers do not follow a proper chain of custody with the evidence of the drugs. They might misplace evidence, or label it incorrectly. That can raise questions about how the evidence was tested, how it got to the lab, and who took it there. The police might mess up their chain of custody. These small errors can greatly impact the outcome of a case which is why it is important for individuals who suspect that mistakes have been made, should reach out to a skilled drug lawyer. A qualified attorney can examine the facts of the case, determine whether errors have been made, use those errors to poke holes in the prosecution’s case, and build a solid defense.