If the police arrest you on drugs charges, you might assume you need to revolve your defense around the drugs themselves. For instance, they are not your drugs, or you had no intention of doing what the police claim with them. However, sometimes there is an easier way.
Consider how many people you know that use drugs of any kind? Now consider how many of them have had the police come into their home and arrest them for using drugs? Probably relatively few. That is because the police can only enter your property with your permission or a warrant.
This is thanks to the Fourth Amendment, which makes everyday living a more pleasant experience. If the police could enter people’s property as they pleased, the country would be a frightening place to live.
Stop and search requires reasonable suspicion
The Fourth Amendment also protects you on the street. A law officer must have reasonable suspicion that you have broken the law to stop and search you. A prior conviction does not justify this. They need to have grounds to believe they will find evidence of a crime you have recently undertaken or are about to carry out.
Having reasonable suspicion does not, however, allow the police to arrest you. They require probable cause. Some states consider that the smell of marijuana no longer counts as probable cause. However, things are tougher in Florida, and a court would typically still allow it as a reason to arrest you.
It is essential to understand all the options if you need to defend against drug charges. Finding the most appropriate one increases the chance you get a positive result.