Officers who conduct a lawful arrest may freeze a suspected drug house while obtaining a search warrant. Officers must have probable cause to believe that evidence of criminal activity may be found on the premises. When officers freeze a drug house, all occupants will be required to stay and will be detained while other officers engage in the process of obtaining a search warrant. No police search can occur in the suspected drug house without a warrant.
Confidential informants often provide police with reliable information to establish probable cause that a residence or business is being used to store drugs. This situation may occur when after a controlled buy of narcotics is made, police observe a drug dealer go inside a business or residence. In order to freeze the suspected drug house, police must reasonably fear that the occupants of the drug house will attempt to destroy any narcotics once they become aware of the arrest of the drug dealer.
If the police do not have probable cause to believe evidence of criminal activity will be found in a suspected drug house and police do not fear the immediate destruction of the evidence, the freezing of the drug house pending the issuance of the search warrant would be unconstitutional. The Fourth Amendment protects the “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searched and seizures. U.S. Const. amend IV. When there is an illegal search and seizure by police, the evidence can not be used against a defendant at criminal trial and the charge is dismissed.
If you have been charged with a criminal offense resulting from a drug raid, call criminal defense attorney Robert J. Shane for a free phone consultation at (612) 339-1024 or visit his website at www.criminallawyerminnesota.com for more information on the Best Defense.