A Georgia man has found himself back in prison after accidentally sending his probation officer a text message concerning marijuana. After the text was received by the probation officer, agents raided the man's home and discovered he was in possession of cocaine. The man was subsequently sentenced to one year in prison for the possession of cocaine as well as an additional year in prison for violating his probation.
Although one can attribute this man's convictions as a result of his own wrongdoing, the facts of the case warrant speculation as to the legality of the search. The text which was sent to the probation officer read as follows, "[do] you have some weed?" There was no language used that would indicate an intent to purchase the drug, nor was there any other fact that would indicate the man was in possession of any other narcotic.
If this text was the basis for the search warrant used to find the cocaine, then it could be argued that a man's text message, protected by his first amendment rights, was used unfairly to show probable cause. Even more alarming is the fact that the text was a mere question posed to another person, rather than a statement showing that the man was in possession of something he should not have been.
This raises legal questions concerning what evidence can and will be used when police approach a judge in order to obtain a search warrant. While in this case the warrant did in fact help police arrest someone who was breaking the law and violating probation, there may not have been a legally justifiable reason to do so. This begs the question, how far can one's constitutional rights be bent before there has been a clear cut interference with those rights?
The attorneys at Bleile & Dawson are extremely knowledgeable in criminal law, especially when it comes to defending our clients against wrongful accusations, whether in the State of Ohio or the Commonwealth of Kentucky. If you feel that you have wrongly been accused of a crime and seek to find the best possible representation to fight for you, hire a criminal defense lawyer in Cincinnati who puts the client first and fights hard to protect the client. Contact us today for a completely confidential consultation at (513) 399-5945.