What Are The Challenges In Handling A Drug Case?
Interviewer: What would you say are some of the more difficult aspects of dealing with a drug case?
John Reade: One of the complex aspects of a drug case is if there is a motion to suppress (i.e. evidence can excluded because the person’s state and/or federal constitutional rights were violated). In order to determine whether there is a valid motion to suppress you have to look at the specific facts of that case, and the legal issues as far as when a search warrant is and is not required, and any case authority on the legal issues. A motion to suppress is basically saying, “Hey, Judge. You should not allow this evidence to be used against this person because their state and/or federal constitutional rights were violated for the following reasons.”
Interviewer: Are there any particular cases that you can cite as an example of maybe a unique drug case that you handled in recent years?
John Reade: Yes, a particular case comes to mind. The person was charged with manufacture, delivery, and possession of a substantial quantity of marijuana. The police were basically saying that there was a trail that went from his residence to the marijuana garden, along with some other evidence. The officer(s) were able to get a judge to sign a search warrant to search his residence. I researched, drafted, argued, and won a motion to suppress.
A major issue was that we were able to show that there were other trails that led from other residences to the marijuana garden. We had someone go up in an airplane and take photographs to show the other trails that went from the other residences to the marijuana garden, and argued that the judge should not have signed the search warrant. A judge agreed and the evidence was suppressed. The charges were dismissed.