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DAVID CLARK
Criminal Defense Attorney

Expectations of Bucks County Drug Arrests

If you have been charged with your first drug offense, a drug arrest might seem like a frightening and overwhelming experience. You may have certain expectations of Bucks County drug arrests that a lawyer can corroborate or dispell. If you have been arrested for a drug offense, you should get in touch with a qualified drug attorney. Your lawyer could help you navigate the arrest process, and could devote the time and resources necessary to build your case.

Why Might a Person Not Be Arrested?

Contrary to expectations of Bucks County drug arrests, there are situations in which an individual might not get arrested for a drug offense. In some circumstances, when individuals are in a public fare, that is, an area where many civilians exist, police may be following a particular person or target of an investigation and, often, that target will meet with one individual. In cases such as those where individuals are merely present on a street and police come in and make an arrest, it is very uncommon for police to make a sweep of the neighborhood in order to determine who is involved with a particular drug or a drug crime. It is not uncommon that others get swept up in the police investigation but when specific targets and/or individuals based upon specific information are being followed up on, and in those cases, it is unlikely that outsiders would be arrested.

Rights at the Time of a Drug-Related Arrest

One of the most significant rights that an individual has following a drug arrest is their Fourteenth Amendment in the US Constitution as well as Article I, Section 8 of the Pennsylvania Constitution and all the rights that come along with that, which is the US Constitution and Pennsylvania Constitution’s right against unlawful searches and seizures of an individual’s person. In cases of drug arrests, individuals have a right, without reasonable suspicion and probable cause, to not be searched by police.

Therefore, merely being present does not always equate to probable cause to search an individual or premises owned by such an individual. Additionally, when warrants are needed such as for homes, automobiles or other places where illegal substances are not in alleged plain view, under those circumstances, illegal searches without the use of a warrant which is signed by a magisterial justice or court of common pleas judge will not allow an individual to be stopped or properly searched.

In cases when a search takes place anyways, there is no exemption in Pennsylvania for any rule that goes in without a proper warrant. There is no exclusionary rule that does not apply; that is, in cases where unlawful narcotics are recovered based upon unlawful searches, the exclusion of those narcotics and anything that follows is likely to be heard by the courts and granted if the rules of stopping an individual of criminal procedure and obtaining warrants have been violated.

Navigating Discussions With the Police

Individuals should not discuss anything with the police, over the course of drug arrests. There is no benefit whatsoever to speaking to police about the circumstances of the arrest. A name and address and occupation are among the things that are allowed to be stated when the police are doing an investigation involving narcotics. Anything else should be withheld until an attorney is present.

Should an individual give information which turns out later to be valid that helps the police make a future arrest, that individual may not be given credit for such information unless an attorney is present and it is documented for an individual’s file. Thus, in summary, once a person is the subject of a narcotics arrest in Bucks County, at no time should any information be volunteered to police about any details whatsoever.

Expectations Following a Drug Arrest

One of the expectations of Bucks County drug arrests, first and foremost, is that an individual will be taken into custody and arraigned, given the quantity of the substance involved in a particular case. The arraignment involves being processed by the police and having a bail hearing before an available 24-hour magisterial justice court. Additionally, when individuals are arrested, a preliminary hearing court date will be set and, once that preliminary hearing court date is set, the individual must appear before a court and be represented by a criminal defense attorney of their choosing. Once before that court date, a preliminary hearing will be had and the individual will hear the details and facts with the rights to cross-examine at such a hearing.

What Happens After an Arrest?

If sent to jail in lieu of posting bail and pre-disposition of their case, one of the expectations of Bucks County drug arrests a person should have is that it will be approximately three days before they have access to a phone and can contact their family and friends. They will be in quarantine to begin the entire custody process. Additionally, individuals should make every effort to contact family prior to leaving the magisterial court. Otherwise, it could be a number of days before contact can be established and an attorney could be hired so that an individual can properly move to be released and fight their charges from what is otherwise called the street.

It is important that if a person is the subject of a narcotics investigation and, as a result, is arrested, that they have the ability to obtain the services of an experienced narcotics criminal defense lawyer at the earliest possible time. Thereby, they can be in communication with an individual who can reach out to their family and make all the arrangements so that bail could be posted and the individual can be released at the earliest possible time. If a person wants to know more about drug arrests, they should work with an attorney that can answer their questions.