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Man's arrest lacks probable cause, drug charges dropped

Being arrested in Louisiana for any reason can be a very stressful experience. An arrest based on drug charges can be especially trying. A criminal conviction can bring with it a host of possible serious consequences, from steep fines to incarceration.

But you should be aware that you always have rights and police are required to follow a strict set of legal guidelines when carrying out an arrest for possession of controlled substances. Any deviation from those guidelines can make an arrest null and void.

In Massachusetts, a 31-year-old man has had charges of allegedly possessing illegal drugs dropped. The man had been arrested in late January. He had been reported to the police for disturbing the peace. The police went to the residence from where the report was made. Upon their arrival, they saw the man pulling away in his pickup truck.

The officers, with weapons drawn, surrounded the pickup. The man was arrested. While in custody, police reportedly found the he was in possession of painkillers.

Later, while in court, the man’s lawyer argued that the officers did not have probable cause for making the arrest. The judge agreed. The judge stated that since the police did not witness the man committing the misdemeanor act of disturbing the peace, they did not have the probable cause required to make the arrest.

As stated before, this case took place in Massachusetts, and the determination was based on Massachusetts law. However, the case does demonstrate how state arrest laws must always be followed by police.

In this regard, Louisiana is no different. If you do find yourself arrested on drug charges, a Louisiana attorney who has an understanding of applicable arrest procedures and other related matters may be able to construct a suitable line of defense.

Source:, “North Adams man cleared of drug charges after arrest ruled improper,” Adam Shanks, June 27, 2014

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