Reasons for challenging police searches

Many charges related to drugs on both the state and federal level depend heavily on a police's officers search of the defendant's property. Usually, drug cases will involve a law enforcement's officers reporting that they searched a person, or the person's house or car, and found drugs which seemed to belong to the defendant.

As with everyone else in the country, residents of Ponca City, Oklahoma, have a constitutional right to be free of random or unjustified police searches. The default rule is that in order to conduct a search, police need to have a search warrant issued by a judge, and only after the police have shown that they have probable cause, or good reasons based on their investigation, to conduct a search.

Since getting convicted of drug possession or, especially, drug distribution can mean iife-altering consequences and the possibility of prison, Oklahomans need to know on a practical level when and how they can challenge and officer's search of the person's property.

When officers actually took the time to obtain a warrant, challenging a search can be very difficult, but it is not impossible. For instance, officers are not allowed to get a search warrant and then act on it months or even years down the road.

Without a warrant, though, police have to be able to point to a specific legal reason why they had permission to search a person's property. These legal exceptions are narrow, and police must be able to show how their actions feel squarely within in them in order to justify their search.

Someone who feels he or she has been the victim of an improper search should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to evaluate their options.

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