Drug Charges and the 4th Amendment

4th Amendment

If you’ve been charged with a drug crime in Houston (Harris County,TX) involving possession of a controlled substance, legal or illegal drugs, doctor shopping, manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance, federal drug conspiracy, or possession of marijuana, you need a BOARD CERTIFIED LAWYER to ensure that your reputation and future are protected.

With over 27 years of criminal defense experience in Houston, TX, and Federal courts across the country, I’ve handled hundreds of cases, some that may have seemed hopeless at the outset.

Many times I’ve read offense reports by the Houston Police Department, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, prosecutorial recommendations, and federal sentencing guidelines that call into question the sanity of our drug laws and sentencing guidelines. This, among other things, motivates me to fight even harder as a Houston drug defense lawyer.

Any romantic notions that we as citizens, and non-citizens, have about the protections of the United States Constitution, as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, can go right out the window considering the governmental zeal to arrest, prosecute, and imprison minor drug offenders.

I once tried a case in Anahuac, Texas where my client was doing weekend time for DWI. During the strip search was caught with 3 marijuana joints in his back pocket.

He had two prior felonies and was charged as a Habitual Criminal and offered 25 years as a plea bargain, take the plea or take it to trial, we did and won.

> See Trials – (How you like them apples?)

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.The 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

The Privacy Interest Protected. To activate the Fourth Amendment to a particular set of facts, there must be a ”search” and a ”seizure,” of contraband to proceed with a criminal prosecution, the evidence seized is used in court against the citizen accused.

If there was a search and seizure contemplated in the meaning of the 4th Amendment, and if a complainant’s interests were constitutionally infringed, will often turn upon a consideration of his privacy interest and whether it was officially abused.

What does the 4th Amendment protect?

Under the common law, there was no doubt.

(The great end for which men entered in society was to secure their property. That right is preserved sacred and incommunicable in all instances where it has not been taken away or abridged by some public law for the good of the whole.By the laws of England, every invasion of private property, be it ever so minute, is a trespass.)

“No man can set foot upon my ground without my license, but he is liable to an action though the damage be nothing.”

(In other words, did he violate my privacy?)

Protection of privacy & property interests as the basis of the Fourth Amendment has been pondered by the Supreme Court and culminated in the seminal case of Wong Son v. The United States – [Fruit of The Poisonous Tree Tree Doctrine].

In other words evidence illegally seized in violation of your constitutional rights as protected by the 4th, and 14th Amendments to the constitution, and Article 1 Section 9 of the Texas constitution; will be thrown out like poisonous fruit if the evidence was illegally seized.

The 4th AmendmentFor example, in Olmstead v. United States, one of the two premises underlying the holding that wiretapping was covered by the 4th Amendment was that there had been no actual physical invasion of the defendant’s premises; a technical trespass. However, electronic surveillance was deemed subject to Fourth Amendment restrictions and cast out as evidence against the accused.

The Court later rejected this approach. “The premise that property interests control the right of the Government to search and seizure has been discredited.”

“We have recognized that the principal object of the Fourth Amendment is the protection of privacy rather than property, and have increasingly discarded fictional and procedural barriers rested on property concepts.”

‘Thus, because the Amendment protects people, not places,” the requirement of actual physical trespass is dispensed with and electronic surveillance was made subject to the Amendment’s requirements.

If you feel your 4th amendment Constitutional right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure was violated, put the State of Texas to the test.

Call Board Certified, Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer Jack B. Carroll for professional legal advice at 713-228-4607.

Drug Charges and the 4th Amendment