Examining Search and Seizure Issues and Fighting Against Drug Charges

By Brock Benjamin
Founding Attorney

Prosecutors across the United States of America are notorious for being unnecessarily harsh on drug crimes. That is even more so the case in Texas and New Mexico. Both states have mandatory minimums in effect for drug charges, meaning that judges don’t have the discretion to decide whether or not to impose jail time – the law sets a minimum amount of jail time to begin with, regardless of the circumstances of the case. This is much like the federal system with Possession with Intent to Distribute cases where there are 5 year (60 month), 10 year (120 month)sentences. Judges have little to no discretion once a guilty verdict is reached. There is no “wiggle room”.

If you or a loved one are facing drug charges in Texas or New Mexico state or federal courts, it’s vital to mount the best possible defense with the help of an experienced drug crime defense attorney and exhaust every possible avenue to avoid a guilty verdict. One of the most successful avenues to combat drug charges is pointing out issues in search and seizure. Successfully challenging the validity of any search and seizure that took place can cause evidence and testimony to be rendered inadmissible, which can make it harder – if not altogether impossible – for prosecutors to present their case, let alone secure a guilty verdict.

What is Unreasonable Search and Seizure?

The Constitution of the United States of America affords every citizen many different protections under U.S. law. The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable search and seizure and requires a search warrant before searches can be conducted, with some notable exceptions. While law enforcement is supposed to be trained to allow citizens to maintain these rights, all too often they are the cause of serious Fourth Amendment violations. Sometimes it intentional on behalf of the law enforcement, many times though its just that they did something improper and the law says that they should not benefit from that violation.

In order to understand what makes a search and seizure unreasonable, it’s important to understand what constitutes a search and seizure. Legally speaking, a search occurs when law enforcement examines a person’s home, vehicle, or business in search of evidence of a crime. A seizure occurs when an officer takes possession of any item or items during that search. Normally, law enforcement needs a warrant to conduct these searches, and the search must be “reasonable”, but there are notable exceptions to the requirement of having a warrant. Consent being one. YOU ARE NEVER REQUIRED TO GIVE CONSENT TO A SEARCH.

Unreasonable search and seizure occurs when law enforcement’s conduct wasn’t reasonable under the circumstances or when the search occurred without a warrant and didn’t fall under any exception. This area of the law is vague, and while it’s frustrating that there’s no black and white definition to “reasonable”, this opens the door for a skilled criminal defense attorney to argue that law enforcements’ conduct wasn’t reasonable for countless reasons.

How Can This Help My Case?

If your attorney can successfully show that any search and seizure was unreasonable, the legal remedy is something called the exclusionary rule. The exclusionary rule states that any evidence obtained illegally, meaning as a violation of a person’s rights, must be excluded from being introduced as evidence in a court of law. Moreover, any further evidence that came from the illegal search and seizure can also be disqualified as “fruit of the poisonous tree”, meaning it was only discovered as a result of another illegal act. 

Essentially, if law enforcement has violated your rights, that means that the evidence they obtained as a result of that violation can’t be used against you. This is more effective than merely poking holes or arguing against the prosecution’s case. This strategy can, under the right circumstances, make the prosecution drop the case altogether as they no longer have viable evidence.

Experienced Texas and New Mexico Drug Crime Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one are facing drug charges in Texas or New Mexico state or federal courts, all hope is not lost. Trust the experienced drug criminal defense attorneys at the Benjamin Law Firm to explore every option to mount the most effective defense. Texas and New Mexico are notoriously hard on drug charges, but the Benjamin Law Firm will fight harder for you, your future, and your freedom. 

Founding Attorney Brock Morgan Benjamin knows how prosecutors work, and is familiar with the tactics they use to secure convictions, as he once worked as a prosecutor himself. Now Attorney Benjamin puts that knowledge to use so he can best defend each and every one of his clients.

Our office is based in El Paso but we proudly serve clients across the states of Texas and New Mexico. Our team offers comprehensive criminal defense services, with experience fighting drug crime charges, along with robust civil litigation and aviation law practices. We bring decades of experience to the table, with a proven track record of results for our clients. 

Founding Attorney Benjamin isn’t like just any other defense attorney you may find. While countless attorneys practice criminal law across Texas and New Mexico, few are truly experts in it like Attorney Benjamin. That’s because Attorney Benjamin is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, an honor that few attorneys hold, which demonstrates the true extent of his knowledge and abilities in the field of criminal defense. We are ready to start fighting for you today. Contact us or call us at (915)-221-7462. ¡También hablamos español!

About the Author
Brock Benjamin is board-certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  His practice is primarily state and federal criminal law and appeals.Brock 

Posted in: Drug Criminal Defense