Houston Drug Defense Lawyers Target Search and Seizure Violations
Skillful Texas attorneys battle to exclude illegally obtained evidence
People accused of criminal misconduct might understand that they have some rights from watching television and movies, but without a skillful defense lawyer you might never understand if a police offer crossed the line. Our firm, Patrick M. Kelley, Attorney at Law in Houston is well versed in the latest federal and state decisions that could lead a judge or prosecutor to throw out key evidence in your matter, possibly leading to a dismissal or acquittal. As the author of the “Drug Search and Seizure,” a column published in the Houston Chronicle and Houston Post and as a former Drug Task Force Prosecutor in Houston at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, Patrick Kelley has a deep knowledge of Fourth Amendment law and how it applies to drug crime prosecutions.
Proven advocates identify improper stops, searches, arrests and questioning
With more than 65 years of combined experience, criminal defense attorneys Patrick Kelley and Julie Jones can examine the facts of your case and assess whether unlawful law enforcement activity might exist. We’ll give you clear honest counsel on legal issues that affect your case, such as:
- Probable cause — The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires that law enforcement officers have “probable cause” to conduct a search, make an arrest or obtain a warrant. This usually means a reasonable basis for believing that a crime may have been committed or that evidence of a crime is present in a place to be searched. However, there is wide room for interpretation of what is reasonable, so it’s crucial to have a lawyer who is an authority on these issues and who has a long, successful track record.
- Consent — Police can evade the warrant requirements by getting consent from the individual whose person or property is being searched. Problems arise when threats, trickery or forms of coercion are used secure inauthentic “consent.” We will fight to exclude from evidence any information or materials that were seized based on invalid consent.
- Investigatory stops — Even when police officers detain someone briefly in order to assess if they are carrying an illegal substance, they still must have proper legal grounds. Reasonable articulable suspicion is the standard used by courts in cases involving the collection of evidence in “stop and frisk” encounters and other stops. When challenged, officers need to provide objective facts that supported their reasonable articulable suspicion. Just having a hunch is not enough.
- Exceptions — When law enforcement authorities are caught collecting drugs, weapons or other items without a warrant, prosecutors may try to introduce those materials under a legal exception to the warrant requirement. The District Attorney may allege that the proposed evidence was plainly visible to the officers or that drugs were in immediate danger of being removed, destroyed or discarded. We will challenge the prosecution’s claimed exceptions to the requirement of a warrant.
Experienced attorneys Patrick Kelley and Julie Jones form a strong team to defend Texans who are being accused of drug crimes. We won’t let you be intimidated into giving up your rights and will put police and prosecutors on defense if any improper activity tainted the case against you.
Contact a dedicated Texas drug crime defense attorney
Patrick M. Kelley, Attorney at Law in Houston challenges Fourth Amendment violations in Texas drug crime prosecutions. To schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys, please call 713-222-6363 or contact us online.