Determining probable cause in possession cases

On Behalf of | Nov 21, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

If you are facing charges of drug possession, a conviction could wreak havoc in all aspects of your life.

Are you wondering what punishments might you face and how can you ensure your rights were not violated? Here is some information.

Potential penalties

Possession of any amount of drugs in Indiana classifies as at least a misdemeanor. However, depending on the type of drug and the amount, you may be facing felony charges. Penalties for misdemeanor possession can start at 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Aside from the legal consequences, a criminal conviction could cause you to lose your job or create conflict in your relationships. Before you start to feel defeated by the system, remember you have rights to protect yourself in situations like these.

Probable cause

Before a police officer can search you or your belongings, they must have probable cause to suspect you have committed or are committing a crime. This is a vague concept, but determining probable cause has numerous exceptions and rules. If the officer did not have probable cause, and there was no search warrant, they may have violated your rights.

If stopped or pulled over in your vehicle, a minor traffic violation alone is not sufficient to qualify as probable cause to search your car. Without your expressed permission, police officers cannot search your car unless they have more than a reasonable suspicion that you have committed a crime.

Police officers cannot violate your rights when performing a search or arrest.