Unlawful Police Search Leads to Dismissal of Felony Drug Charges in Ann Arbor

Drug offense prosecutions almost always involve a police search which are sacredly protected by the Constitution. The Fourth Amendment states that all persons shall be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. There is no higher law in the land of this country. Therefore, almost every drug case has a constitutional issue which must be professionally evaluated and possibly challenged in court.

For instance, many law enforcement searches are by consent. Consent is by far the most common reason for a police search. Officers are very aware of their persuasive authority and will request consent to search even if they have no reasonable suspicion that a crime is being committed. Only if that consent is unconditional and unequivocal, will the search be valid. Consent can be revoked too which every person should be aware. Ultimately, I suggest that under no circumstance, should any person consent to a search of their person, vehicle or home. Even if there is nothing to hide, it is everyone’s sacred constructional right to be free from a search unless accompanied by a warrant outlining probable cause.

I recently helped a person who was the victim of an unlawful search by an Ypsilanti police officer. Officer Anderson said he saw a folded up business card with my client’s belongings. The officer demanded that my client give him the piece of paper and my client refused. In response the officer took the folded business card, opened it up and found a controlled substance.

In March of 2016 Washtenaw County Circuit Judge Carol Kunhke listened to the facts of the case, heard the officer testify and decided that Officer Anderson’s demand to look inside the paper was an unlawful search. Cops cant just tell you they want to see what is in your hand, car, pocket, or in your things like, in this case, a business card. A mere suspicion is not nearly enough. Just because, based upon his experience, that is often how “drugs are often kept” a search of my client’s things is not warranted.

Because the judge suppressed the search, the drugs found were no longer able to be used as evidence and therefore the felony charge for possession of a controlled substance was dismissed. That decision, of course, made for a very happy client and stands for another example of how a criminal defense lawyer protects individual constitutional rights.