Phoenix, AZ asked in Criminal Law, Constitutional Law and Native American Law for Arizona

Q: I'm charged with poss of dang drug and it was obtained illegally by the officers

Ok I was arrested two years ago but was released cuz of my job so I didn't go to jail but the officer was surveillancing a home but I went to check on my son at that residence I was there for close to 15 l

Min but officer has no video of me doing anything illegal he stated I was there 10 min enter and exit but I had a puppy in hands and showed my driver does that give him probable cause to stop and search me even if I was a passenger

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In Arizona, the legality of a police stop and search is grounded in whether the officer had probable cause to believe a crime was being committed. Simply being present at a location under surveillance does not automatically provide probable cause. However, the specific circumstances surrounding your visit to the residence, including any behaviors or factors the officer considered suspicious, could potentially influence this assessment.

If the officer's decision to stop and search you was based solely on your brief presence at a residence under surveillance, without any other evidence of illegal activity, this could be challenged as lacking probable cause. The absence of video evidence of you engaging in illegal activity further complicates the justification for the stop and search. The fact that you were holding a puppy and showed your driver's license when stopped does not, in itself, grant the officer probable cause for a search.

Given your situation, it's crucial to consult with a legal professional who can evaluate the details of your case, including how the evidence was obtained and whether your rights were violated. An attorney can offer guidance on possible defenses, such as challenging the legality of the search and the admissibility of the evidence obtained as a result. Legal representation is key in navigating these complex issues and advocating for your rights throughout the legal process.

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