Earlier this month, police arrested two men at a Ventura home following a warrant search, as part of an investigation of illegal drug activity. Police began receiving complaints by neighbors of suspected drug dealing at the home in early January. As part of the investigation, police detained people after leaving the home, and found that the individuals were frequently in possession of drug paraphernalia, and small amounts of drugs, usually methamphetamine.
Home search requires warrant
The police obtained a warrant to conduct the home search, and took two residents into custody. Andrew Parkin, 24, of Ventura was arrested on possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and maintaining a place for drug use and/or sales. Christopher Willis, 26, of Ventura was also arrested on an outstanding warrant for a parole violation.
Police officers need a warrant or the permission of a home’s inhabitant to conduct a home search. Often, officers will talk to the occupants of a home, while looking for items in plain sight that suggest some kind of illegal activity. If they see something, they can enter the home without a warrant, because they have “probable cause” to believe that something illegal is occurring inside. A warrantless home search may have serious constitutional problems. That opens the door to ask a court to throw out evidence that the police collected unconstitutionally.
Warrants also have to be specific. Investigators need to tell a judge exactly what they’re looking for, and they need to limit a home search to the items listed on the warrant. They cannot seize items that aren’t listed on the warrant.
Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Robert Helfend has practiced criminal defense for more than 30 years and can assist in your home search and seizure case. The proper seizure and handling of evidence is not just important – it makes or breaks the case against you. When police and prosecutors don’t follow the well-known, well established rules of evidence collection, a judge can throw out the entire case against you. Mr. Helfend is an expert in search and seizure cases, and may be able to get the evidence against you dismissed.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County home search and seizure case.
Photo Credit: Sara Joos, via FreeImages.com