In March, a search warrant was issued against a Massachusetts man based on information given by an informant to police. The man was arrested and charged with both gun and drug charges after police searched his home and allegedly found marijuana, a .38 caliber gun, and over $100 cash. In an interesting turn of events, the charges against him were recently dismissed, which serves as an excellent example for others facing charges that their situation may not be as hopeless as they feel.
The attorney for the man charged worked on his behalf to challenge the search warrant that police used when they allegedly found the drugs, gun, and money. The warrant was found to be invalid under Massachusetts law as there was not sufficient probable cause. The information that police had received was from an unnamed informant, which a district court judge ruled was not enough.
This man’s legal rights were infringed upon when an invalid warrant led to his arrest. Instead of appealing the case, prosecutors dismissed the charges. Because the warrant was found invalid, any evidence police had obtained was inadmissible in court. Police were required to return the money found in the home, and to release the gun to the person who proves ownership and legal rights to the firearm. The drugs will be destroyed.
Cases such as this one prove that everyone makes mistakes. In this case, police acted on an invalid warrant, which led to drug charges being filed against him. Though this man will not face charges for any crimes he may have committed, he has suffered already by facing the stigma and consequences of being charged with a crime. This case shows why it is important that anyone in Massachusetts faced with criminal charges seek to understand their rights, and look carefully into the evidence offered against them.
Source: The Herald News, “Gun, drug charges thrown out after warrant is invalidated,” Kevin P. O’Connor, Aug. 24, 2012