A Skilled Defense Against Possession Of Controlled Substances Charges
Being charged with possession of a controlled substance is a serious crime in South Dakota. A conviction can cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars in fines, months or years of your life behind bars, and even lost opportunities in your future, like difficulty gaining employment, an education or a home.
I am D. Sonny Walter, and I have been helping clients throughout the Sioux Falls area and the rest of the state overcome their criminal charges for more than 30 years. I know the challenges of these cases, and I do everything I can do help my clients, including providing them with the skilled and judgment-free services they deserve.
Defending Your Rights By Suppressing Unconstitutional Evidence
As your criminal defense attorney, I am dedicated to protecting the rights of my clients and fighting for their freedoms. One of the ways I do this is by filing motions to suppress evidence in court. There are many different types of motions to suppress evidence based on illegal stops, reasonable suspicion, the deployment of drug dogs and probable cause to search automobiles.
Identifying Illegal Stops
The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures. This means that law enforcement must have a valid reason, known as probable cause, to stop and detain an individual. If a stop is found to be unconstitutional, then any evidence obtained as a result of the stop may be suppressed.
Reasonable Suspicion Based On Facts
Reasonable suspicion is a lower standard than probable cause and allows law enforcement to briefly detain an individual if they have a reasonable belief that the individual is involved in criminal activity. However, if the reason for the stop is later found to be unsupported by the facts, any evidence obtained as a result of the stop may be suppressed.
Proper Drug Dog Deployment
The deployment of drug dogs during a traffic stop can be a valuable tool for law enforcement in their search for illegal drugs. However, if the deployment of the drug dog is found to be unconstitutional, any evidence obtained as a result may be suppressed. This could include controlled substances or other drugs or marijuana found in the vehicle or on the individual. I have had many cases dismissed because evidence was suppressed by the court for illegal stops, illegal searches and the lack of reasonable suspicion to deploy a drug-sniffing dog.
Probable Cause To Search Automobiles
The Fourth Amendment also protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures of their vehicles. Probable cause is required for law enforcement to search an individual’s vehicle without their consent. If the probable cause for the search is later found to be unsupported by the facts, any evidence obtained as a result may be suppressed. Probable cause would be found if the trooper smelled the odor of marijuana or saw drug evidence in plain view.
Only Focus On The Legal Evidence
If evidence obtained as a result of a stop or search is found to be unconstitutional, it may be suppressed, or excluded from being used in court. This is a powerful tool for criminal defense attorneys in protecting the rights of their clients and ensuring that only properly obtained evidence is used against them in court.
When evidence is suppressed for violations as noted above, the evidence is suppressed and cannot be used in the prosecution, which usually results in the charges being dismissed. An experienced attorney can call their client to testify at a motion hearing on preliminary matters relative to the suppression issue without subjecting their client to cross-examination.
Let’s Build Your Defense Together
Motions to suppress evidence are a crucial aspect of criminal defense. By challenging the constitutionality of stops, searches and the deployment of drug dogs, I am committed to protecting the rights of my clients and ensuring that only properly obtained evidence is used against them in court. If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges, then contact me at my firm, D. Sonny Walter, Attorney At Law, today to schedule a consultation with me by calling 605-450-6182 or emailing me here.