After receiving a tip about drug activity occurring at a Michigan residence, a young woman was recently arrested on charges related to running a meth lab in her home. Police allegedly drove by the home and observed some materials on the porch of the house consistent with the manufacture of methamphetamines. The officers were not allowed inside the house at that time; however, but they came back later with a search warrant.
Once inside, the police found items they claimed were used to manufacture meth, including coffee filters, plastic bottles, drain cleaner and battery components. Despite discovering many of these innocuous items, it was not reported whether police found any direct evidence of methamphetamine inside the woman’s home.
After her arrest, the woman was scheduled to be arraigned on the meth charges. She could face up to a 20-year prison term if she is ultimately convicted for the manufacture of methamphetamines.
Given the stiff penalties individuals like this young woman face, as well as the zealous efforts of Michigan law enforcement officials to prosecute meth charges, an aggressive defense is essential to protect a accused person’s rights. Many defenses are available, from challenging confidential tips provided by government informants, to combating unlawful searches and seizures and invalid search warrants.
If a person can establish a violation of his or her Fourth Amendment rights, regarding an improper search and seizure, typically the evidence discovered in violation of those rights cannot be used at trial. Accordingly, while persons charged with meth offenses face the possibility of severe penalties, fortunately they have rights designed to limit unfair treatment under the law and curb law enforcement abuses.
Source: Kalamazoo Gazette, “Arrest made after meth lab found inside Jackson home,” Aaron Aupperlee, July 10, 2012