Any Pennsylvania resident who has ever had police knock on his or her door understands how unsettling it can be. If police officers request entrance to a home to “have a look around,” things may get a lot worse before they get better. On a recent Wednesday afternoon, state parole officers, troopers and local police officers were all reportedly involved in a search that led to a man’s arrest.
In most cases, police need a validly authorized warrant to search a home
The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects people against unlawful search and seizure. For a police officer to search a person’s body, vehicle, home or other private property, there typically needs to be a warrant issued first. If a police officer does not have a warrant, a person may state that he or she does not consent to the search.
There are exceptions to the rule regarding warrants. For instance, if police witness a crime occurring, they may not need to call for a warrant before entering or searching a premises. In the case of the recent arrest, investigators reportedly began a search of a 31-year-old man’s residence, then requested a warrant after finding what they believed to be marijuana in the home. They continued their search after obtaining a warrant and claim to have seized numerous illegal drugs, including methamphetamine and fentanyl.
Police took the man into custody
The man was taken into police custody and was transported to a county prison. When police seize substances from a home that they believe to be illegal drugs, they must send the substances in question to a laboratory for testing. If criminal charges for drug crimes are filed, prosecutors must prove that a seized substance is, in fact, what they claim it to be. It is possible for mistakes to be made. Anyone facing drug charges in Pennsylvania may want to request a meeting with an experienced criminal law attorney before heading to court.