Earlier this month, a drug bust in Three Rivers, Michigan resulted in three people being arrested and charged with several offenses relating to the manufacture and sale of marijuana. According to one local news source, the police officers who conducted the search of the home executed a warrant, allegedly giving them the legal authority to do so.
Evidently, the bust was actually of two smaller operations that police believe were related. The busts took place on the 53000 block of North Fisher Lake Road and the 20000 block of M-60, in Park Township. In all, roughly 60 pounds of marijuana were seized by police. Two men and one woman were arrested and charged with manufacturing marijuana, possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute, possession of a firearm, and maintaining a “drug house.” Several of these offenses are felonies punishable by years in jail, if the defendants are convicted.
According to the report, police received a tip from a citizen that there may be marijuana sales being conducted from the residences.
Police Searches and the Need for Search Warrants Generally speaking, the United States and Michigan Constitutions require that a police officer have a warrant in order to conduct a search of either a person or a place. Over the years, the Supreme Court has refined that requirement, allowing police to conduct a search without a warrant in some limited circumstances. For example, searches of automobiles do not always require the officer to obtain a search warrant, depending on the situation.
While not every search of a home requires a warrant, as a general rule police must first obtain a warrant before searching a home. This is because the courts have determined that a person’s home is a place where they can expect to remain private and, absent the issuance of a warrant, should remain free from unwanted police intrusion. Of course, a police officer does not need a warrant to search if they are given consent by one of the parties living in the residence. With that said, if consent is coerced, it may not be valid.
The bottom line is that searches of homes are often ripe for constitutional challenges based on the officers’ observations, objectives, and methods of executing the warrant. To learn more, contact a dedicated Michigan criminal defense attorney.
Have You Been Arrested with a Michigan Drug Offense? If you have recently been arrested and charged with a drug crime in the state of Michigan, you should immediately seek out dedicated defense counsel to help you with your case. Many times, defendants who are not aware of their rights accept responsibility for crimes that could not be proven without illegally seized evidence. In these cases, the defendant would be better served to discuss his case with an experienced attorney and file the appropriate motions to suppress the evidence and keep it out of the trial. This area of law is extremely complex and should be handled by dedicated criminal defense attorneys. Call Attorney Steven Schwartz at (248) 266-8720 to set up a free consultation to discuss your case. He will candidly discuss your case with you and let you know what options you may have moving forward.