Many drug busts in Louisiana begin as simple traffic stops. For example, police might pull over a car for a broken tail light and, one way or another, end the encounter with the driver facing serious drug charges.
Recently, a Louisiana man was arrested on drug possession charges after police said he was found asleep inside his car by the side of a road. Once in police custody, police said they linked the man to a report of a recent burglary, which led to additional criminal charges against him.
According to police, callers reported a car parked on a road. An officer said he approached the car and found the driver asleep, but also saw a bag of what appeared to be marijuana in the car. Police arrested the man and brought him back to the police station. After he had been there about an hour, police said they received a report of items being stolen out of a car. Police said the description of the items stolen matched the items found in the man's car.
The United States Constitution prohibits unreasonable search and seizure. In practice, this means that Louisiana police generally need a search warrant to search a person's home, although there are many exceptions to that requirement. For searches of cars, the police have much more leeway, but there are still strict limits as to how and where they can search. When the police exceed their authority and conduct an unlawful search, the evidence of that search cannot be used in court.
In building a criminal defense for those accused of drug crimes in Louisiana, it is important to investigate all the circumstances of the arrest. If police have exceeded their authority, it can mean the difference between a person's freedom and a long prison sentence.
Source: BayouBuzz.com, "Man faces drug and burglary charges after being found asleep in car," Aug. 6, 2013