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West Palm Beach Criminal Lawyer / Blog / Drug Crimes / Is The Evidence In Your Drug Case Admissible?

Is The Evidence In Your Drug Case Admissible?


If you are caught with drugs in your possession or control, it may be in your best interests to simply plead guilty and accept your sentence. However, there are some cases in which you may be able to show that your rights were violated, or that the evidence against you was obtained improperly. If the evidence in your case is inadmissible, the charges against you may be dropped.

Was Probable Cause Present?

In order for evidence to be admissible in court, it must have been obtained in a legally appropriate way – for example, a search done after a warrant is obtained and served, or via a “plain view” search where no warrant is required. However, it is not uncommon for law enforcement to charge a person with an offense while having only scant evidence – particularly in drug cases, which are taken very seriously in Florida due to the state’s past history with drug trafficking.

In order to arrest a person or perform a plain-view search of a location, a law enforcement officer (LEO) needs “probable cause” to do so. The concept of “probable cause” is not specifically defined in Florida, but the general definition is that there must be reasonable evidence to suggest that a crime has been committed. Merely looking “nervous” or “hostile,” for example, is not generally sufficient evidence.

Is There A Right To Privacy? 

If you believe that the evidence in your case was obtained in a manner that breaches the rules of evidence, it is crucial to have an attorney on your side to handle the potential legal wrangling. Florida observes a doctrine known as the ‘fruit of the poisonous tree’ doctrine, also called the exclusionary rule, which states that evidence obtained illegally is inadmissible (and unusable) in a court of law, and a knowledgeable attorney can file the right pleading to exclude the relevant evidence.

That said, it is important to remember that there are situations in which a search will be accepted by the court simply because a person has no reasonable expectation of privacy. Florida does not have an ‘augmented’ right to privacy; rather, the “minimum federal guarantees” control – in other words, the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects Floridians from unlawful searches and seizures, but that is as far as the law goes.

Contact A West Palm Beach Drug Possession Attorney

If you have been charged with drug possession after a search of your person or premises, but you suspect that the search was unlawful, a West Palm Beach drug crimes attorney may be able to help you determine how best to proceed. The firm of Perlet & Shiner, P.A. has handled many of these matters, and will work hard to help you with yours. Call our office today to speak to an attorney.

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