Constitutional Issues in Ocean City Drug Cases
The very first thing that needs to be assessed is if there was any sort of constitutional issues in Ocean City drug cases occurred. Almost every drug case includes either an encounter with the citizen that leads police to a search or a motor vehicle stop which then leads to a search. All of these scenarios invoke the protections of the Fourth and potentially Fifth and Sixth Amendments.
In order for a case to be properly and thoroughly assessed, there needs to be a constitutional analysis of the events in question. In addition, the issue of chain of custody and analysis of the suspected drug is also relevant. An Ocean City drug attorney with extensive experience in the geographical and legal jurisdiction will understand the applicable statutes for a chain of custody and any issues that may arise with the analysis of the drug and the labs that are responsible for said analysis.
Search and Seizure
Often times, a drug investigation is going include a stop and search of a person or a stop and search of a driver and their vehicle. These and other similar potential scenarios all relate to and require an analysis of the Fourth Amendment.
Under this Constitutional provision, any individual is supposed to be free from unreasonable search and seizure that is conducted by the government. In other words, a person definitely needs to have an attorney who understands the Fourth Amendment and is up to date on all relevant case law. This is because the case law involving the Fourth Amendment is constantly evolving. It is important to actively avoid contributing to case law that erodes the Fourth Amendment, which would be a very bad situation for everyone involved, both in current and future cases.
Common Examples of Constitutional Issues
There are several common scenarios where there are constitutional issues in Ocean City drug cases. Anytime that the police sees any evidence, there is a constitutional analysis that has to be done because the Fourth Amendment prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. Any time that a person possesses drugs and they were searched or their vehicle or their house was searched and drugs were seized to be used as evidence against them, then the protections of the Fourth Amendment are triggered. An attorney can analyze to see if the argument can be made that constitutional issues in Ocean City drug cases occurred.
One scenario that happens frequently is that a vehicle is pulled over for a traffic offense and then potentially leads to further investigation and the seizure of drugs. There are numerous hotels and motels and the police may be called to a hotel room for a noise violation that escalates into a serious investigation regarding possession of drugs.
Another trigger for constitutional protection is when the police want to have a defendant make a statement. Any time that someone is asked to make a statement, it is important to understand that that statement can be used against them in court. In that case, this is where the Fifth Amendment applies. This amendment was designed and implemented to protect individuals against self-incrimination.
Right to Counsel
The Sixth Amendment potentially applies as well, because it relates directly to a person’s right to counsel under United States federal law. Under certain circumstances, individuals have to be advised of their right to remain silent and also their right to have an attorney present.
If the most damaging evidence that the state has against someone is the statements that they make, and those statements were taken by the state in violation of constitutional law, then it is possible that the statements can be suppressed. In other words, they would not be admissible as evidence in court, which would increase the chances of achieving a desirable outcome for the person.