Drug crime charges can cause irreversible damage to one’s reputation, relationships, and future educational and employment opportunities. While the law classifies drug crimes as serious offenses to be strictly dealt with, it continues to protect the rights of charged individuals.
Whether the prosecution charges you with drug possession or narcotics charges, among other crimes, you should be aware of your rights. One of the rights U.S. citizens have is the freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures.
Under Florida laws, the following situations make evidence inadmissible in a drug crime case:
- Illegal search and seizure: If the police search and obtain drugs without a search warrant or probable cause, the prosecution cannot use that evidence in court.
- Broken chain of custody: If there is a broken chain of custody for the drugs, meaning the handling, transfer or storage are improper, they are not admissible.
- Failure to read Miranda rights: If the police fail to read the accused their rights upon arrest, the prosecution cannot use the defendant’s statements against them during the trial.
- Violation of due process: If the police obtain evidence while depriving the defendant of their right to life, liberty or property, then the court may find the evidence inadmissible.
It is important to note that the defense attorney needs to establish the circumstances above upon filing a motion to suppress evidence.
Know your rights
As a part of the constitutional protection of individuals, U.S. laws govern how law officers can gather and use evidence in court. Knowing which evidence is admissible and what may make evidence inadmissable can assist a defendant in protecting their rights and at the same time establishing grounds to suppress evidence.