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Search and seizure in Texas must be constitutionally compliant

Whenever a search warrant is involved in a police investigation and arrest in Texas, criminal defense counsel must be vigilant from the outset to closely examine all aspects of the alleged determination of probable cause. Every citizen is assured the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure tactics by the police. This often comes up as an issue when the search and seizure relates to an arrest on drug charges.

The San Angelo Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigations department recently announced the arrest of a 49-year-old male for possession of methamphetamine in his home. The law enforcement authorities allege that they obtained a search warrant from a justice of the peace. They reportedly executed it on the afternoon of June 11.

Police allege that they seized a "quantity" of methamphetamine in the raid along with paraphernalia associated with trafficking in narcotics. They charged the suspect with felony manufacture delivery of a controlled substance in the first degree. A 20-year-old female was also arrested; police charged her with felony possession of a controlled substance. The authorities indicated taking others into custody but did not report whether those other persons were arrested or released without charge.

Criminal defense counsel will investigate the search and seizure protocol used by the police in obtaining and executing the search warrant. Defense counsel will examine the affidavit of probable cause to determine if there was sufficient justification for issuance of the warrant. Various factors must be examined, such as whether the information supplied to the magistrate was identifiable, reliable and not based on anonymous or unverifiable sources. Police in Texas must also execute a warrant in a proper manner and not go beyond searching a limited area for the specific contraband described in the warrant.

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