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Search warrants and arrests following drug investigation

Just outside of Columbia, two young-adults from Irmo are currently facing some serious charges. The pair was recently arrested and charged following an ongoing drug investigation. The investigation afforded police the opportunity to secure a search warrant on a local home.

Working with Columbia police, local police served the warrant on the home during the morning hours. The two defendants live at the home and were arrested on the spot after police searched the premises.

Officials say they found drugs in the home and the two suspects were taken into custody. The 26-year-old and 21-year-old are now facing drug charges including possession of marijuana, possession of heroin and possession of a controlled substance, among others.

Defendants in this situation have a few options when pursuing a criminal defense. Under the Constitution, citizens are afforded certain rights. It is the Fourth Amendment that protects from unreasonable searches and seizures. If a search does not meet certain requirements, the search itself may be a violation of rights and in that case, any evidence found from such a search cannot be used against a defendant.

One form of a reasonable search occurs when a judge grants a search warrant after finding probable cause. In the case above, a judge issued a search warrant after an ongoing investigation. The defendants here may want to challenge the finding of probable cause.

The Fourth Amendment does not go into effect in instances where a person does not have the requisite expectation of privacy. But personal residences and homes are places where that expectation of privacy exists and that is why the South Carolina officials needed a search warrant to enter the home.

Although the legal justice system is quick to judge those charge with a crime, these constitutional protections are in place to make sure that government officials act accordingly and do not undermine the rights of defendants.

Source: WISTV 10, "Drug investigation leads to 2 arrests near elementary school," Renee Standera, Aug. 1, 2013

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