Conviction and Incarceration of the Drug Suspects
The police officer has just stopped a car for traffic violations but detects some drugs in the car. This is a legal vehicle stop because the concerned officer did not just carry out a random search. Traffic laws had been violated, and this was sufficient enough to stop the car. The detection of drugs was done reasonably because he located the drugs while carrying out the traffic stop. A seizure of the drugs will need to take place. This starts with a collection of all the drugs or incriminating evidence. As an officer, one should abide by California state law manuals on a collection of physical evidence. The sample will need to be placed in an evidence container that can then be used in a court of law. That container should hold some information about the item number, the case number as well a description of what is contained inside. This should be sealed to prevent contamination. The signature of the patrol officer should also be placed on the container. The material should then be transferred to the lab; transfer of custody should be recorded immediately.
The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution will be highly relevant to this case because it protects citizens against unreasonable seizures and searches. In this case, a search of the adults car was not done so search laws do not apply. However, a seizure of the person and the drugs did occur. A seizure is said to have occurred if a persons freedom of movement has been undermined (Davies 600). However, the law states that this needs to be done based on objective evidence. The patrol officer spotted drugs in the persons car, and that is reasonable enough to warrant a seizure. If the adult refused to answer questions by the officer and only the minor spoke, then this adult is well within his right to remain quiet and should not be punished for it.
Therefore, based on the detection of the drugs through the officers observation, this adult should be arrested and driven to a police station.
The police officer interviewed some of the passengers in the car and was told about the source of the drugs. The incriminating statements should be recorded immediately and used as evidence. This information will be vital to the prosecutors in the court of law.
A search and seizure in the drug distributors house will be necessary. There was plenty of physical evidence found at the drug source. In the house, some 5 kilos of drugs were found at the location. Not all the five kilos will need to be used as an exhibit in law; only a small portion of it should be submitted to the lab for testing. The concerned officer will need to adhere to . The quantity, location, and parties handling the evidence at every step of the process will be recorded. Since the impounded drugs were stored in a secure place, the officer can only access them through the authorized entry. He will need to record the quantity that will have been taken to the courts for testing. This will be confirmed by comparing the figures. Taking the samples to the lab will ascertain that the concerned substance is an illegal or controlled one. However, to prevent the further use of these drugs, the five kilos will need to be taken to a safe house in a police station where they can then be destroyed after completion of the case. It was also found that there was a firearm in the scene. to the handling of firearms during a stop or search and seizure. Here, the firearm should be handled carefully to avoid the placement of the officers fingerprints on it. The position of the hammer should be recorded and unloading of the ammunition should be done. It should then be packaged well and labeled. The gun will need to be submitted to the lab for fingerprinting to support the assertion that the piece of ammunition belonged to the drug dealers.
The concerned drug dealers might also try to use the Fourth Amendment to The US Constitution as a means of protecting themselves against any charges made by the officer. They might affirm that the search and seizure were not legal because there was no warrant. The Fourth Amendment stipulates the conditions that must be fulfilled before a search warrant can be issued by the court (Williams 54). It specifically states that all people have a right to be secure against unreasonable seizures and searches of their houses, persons, papers, and effects. Furthermore, warrants for searches shall be issued only when there is probable cause. To ensure that the officer is acting lawfully, there will be a need to consider one major concept, which is the reasonableness rule. For any search to be carried out, the constitution requires a reasonableness test.
The officer must ensure that there is a fair degree of suspicion to elicit the search. In this case, the officer was informed by the parties in the car about the drug source. Since this was not a matter that , the patrol officer needed to obtain a search warrant before entering that house. For the court to issue the search warrant, probable cause must be demonstrated. This means that there should be sufficient legal reasons to search. Carroll v. the United States, 267 US 132 (1925) put forward the conditions for probable cause. Probable cause occurs when the facts available to the concerned officer would lead him to believe that the person to be . In this case, the patrol officer had probable cause because he was tipped off by an informant. This was sufficient enough to obtain a warrant, and he should therefore proceed to get it. With the warrant, the officer should then go and search the residential area of the drug dealers.