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Illegal drug searches violate basic constitutional rights

There are likely few things more frightening than being arrested on drug charges. Even simple possession of certain substances can bring serious penalties. And if you are charged with trafficking, you could be facing a lengthy prison sentence.

So while you may feel alone in your fight after being arrested on drug charges, remember you do have some things in your favor. First and foremost is the United States Constitution, which strictly prohibits the search and seizure of property or a person without probable cause.

In fact, the Fourth Amendment is based on some of our most cherished values. One of these values, that a man's home is his castle, has its roots in England. But the Fourth Amendment was also created as a means to protect citizens from the unlawful entry of all other parties, including agents of the King.

What this means is that when carrying out an arrest without probable cause, the authorities are in violation of long-standing laws that are intended to help keep all men and women safe from unwarranted prosecution. And such a violation will likely render any evidence gathered in the search inadmissible in court.

But in addition to the rights afforded you by the Fourth Amendment, you also have the right to have an attorney who can represent your interests. A criminal defense attorney who understands search and seizure laws can help make sure that your rights are protected.

The attorney could investigate the arrest to make sure that the police did, in fact, have probable cause or the proper warrants to carry out a search, seizure and arrest. Given the circumstances, the attorney may be able to have the charged reduced or dismissed.

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