Many of our readers in Louisiana probably think that drug possession charges are fairly straightforward – a person is found in possession of illegal drugs, charged and, perhaps, convicted of the crime. However, Louisiana residents should remember their constitutional rights when facing drug possession charges, particularly their rights against illegal searches and seizures as enshrined in the Fourth Amendment.

Drug possession cases are some of the main types of cases that lead to constitutional rights debates. How did the search occur to begin with? Did the law enforcement officials involved have a search warrant or probable cause? These questions, among many others, should probably be part of any criminal defendant’s defense strategy when facing drug charges.

So, what happens if a violation of a person’s constitutional rights was found to have occurred during a search or arrest? Well, for starters, the case might be dismissed altogether. Or, perhaps, at least some of the charges involved in the case might be dismissed. Each case is different, with different facts for the sides to present arguments about and for the court to rule upon.

Most people go through every day without thinking about their constitutional rights at all. But, it is important to remember these rights when charged with a crime. An arrest is not a conviction. Law enforcement officials and prosecutors must follow strict requirements in the step-by-step process of arresting, charging and attempting to convict a person of a crime in Louisiana. Those who may have concerns about their constitutional rights being violated in an interaction with law enforcement officials may need to get more information about their own specific situation.