Police cannot keep their eyes on all parts of a city at all times. Indeed, police rely on citizens to report crimes so that they can then send officers out to investigate. However, the United States Constitution requires that police follow certain rules before they go out and arrest people in response to tips they receive from anonymous citizens.
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects all citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. In general, this means that police are required to have a warrant. Of course, there are exceptions to the warrant requirement, and one of those is a search conducted after a valid arrest. However, police officers cannot get around this requirement by arresting people for no reason, since the same constitutional amendment prevents police from doing so.
In general, when acting on an anonymous tip, police must conduct an investigation and determine some corroborating facts before acting to arrest or detain the subject of the tip. If a police officer fails to take the necessary precautions, the arrest may be held to be invalid, and anything seized as a result of the arrest must be suppressed at trial.
Heroin and Ecstasy Seized in Michigan Drug Raid Earlier this month, the Kalamazoo Valley Enforcement Team seized large quantities of crack, heroin, and ecstasy when they acted on an anonymous tip. The substance of the tip was not provided in the news article reporting on the arrest, nor was the name of the person or people who provided the authorities with the information. However, the tip led officers to the 3200 block of Andover Drive. It is unclear what, if any, investigation the police officers involved conducted prior to seeking a warrant.
Police eventually obtained a warrant. After the warrant was signed off on by a magistrate judge, police executed the warrant and seized the narcotics. They also arrested one 34-year-old man whom police say was the one who possessed the drugs. The man has since been charged with possession with intent to deliver heroin and possession of cocaine, and the suspected ecstasy was sent to the crime lab for processing. Depending on the result, the charges may be amended.
Have You Been Arrested for a Michigan Drug Offense? If you or a loved one has recently been arrested and charged with a Michigan drug crime, time is of the essence. The sooner you are able to have a dedicated and experienced attorney review your case, the sooner you can start to work with your attorney to put a strong case together. Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, there may be a viable motion to suppress any evidence or statements made at the time. To learn more about motions to suppress in Michigan courts, call Attorney Steven Schwartz to set up a free consultation. Attorney Schwartz can be reached at (248) 266-8720, or you can fill out the online form.