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What is a search and seizure?

As a California resident who has been charged with possession of illegal substances, you should know everything possible about your rights, and about the legal process for a search and seizure.

According to The Free Dictionary, a search and seizure is legally defined as a situation in which law enforcement agents or officers hunt for "property or communications" that they have reason to believe has been involved in a crime. The procuring and taking of these items is the "seizure" part of the search and seizure. In this particular case, the item or items that are being searched for are usually the drugs themselves, drug-related paraphernalia, or communications that suggest drug dealing has been done.

However, arbitrary reasons are not good enough for police to perform a search and seizure. While police are allowed to determine when any particular situation warrants a search and seizure, it's also possible for their decision to be overturned in the court. Probable cause and reasonable suspicion are both somewhat subjective, after all, and what may seem like a sure reason to perform a search and seizure to one officer might not hold up when further scrutinized. If that happens, then the item or items found in the search and seizure process can't legally be used against you during the case.

In essence, it's important for you to know your rights when dealing with drug-related charges. These convictions can be very serious and may even be categorized as felonies in some instances, so protecting yourself from ever being convicted is the best thing you can do.

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