Augusta, KS asked in Criminal Law and Federal Crimes for Colorado

Q: A friend and I are having a debate about the legal system in the United States and was wondering if a lawyer could help

Our question is this:

Assuming no criminal history, no prior affiliation with drugs in any capacity, if a civilian were to walk up to an officer on the street, and say "I have cocaine at my house", and go on to refuse any searches and refuse to produce said cocaine, or take any drugs tests, is that sufficient evidence for a officer to obtain a search warrant on their house.

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Michael Joseph Larranaga
Michael Joseph Larranaga pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Parker, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: Although I do not practice criminal law, I would think that an admission that you had an illegal substance in the house would be enough to constitute probable cause to obtain a warrant to search the house for that illegal substance. You are basically admitting to the illegal act. At that point, they can even skip the warrant and just arrest you.

I do not know if that statement alone would meet the burden of beyond a reasonable doubt to convict but probable cause is a lower standard. I would think a search warrant targeted at finding cocaine in the house when you already admitted it was there would not be a stretch. But the final decision would rest with a judge.

Please note that this is not legal advice. Please obtain an attorney if you have an actual legal question.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.