Woody White Law PLLC
Phone 910-338-4900
Toll Free 866-677-8525

Police raid a home and bring drug charges against mother and son

Authorities seem to insist on making warrantless searches whenever they think they can, which then exposes their arrest to Fourth Amendment constitutional challenge. That may issue may come up in a warrantless search and arrest of three people for drug charges in North Carolina recently. Two residents of a home in Elizabethtown, along with a man found in their front yard, were charged with numerous drug offenses.

The Elizabethtown police announced a joint operation with probation authorities to conduct what they called a 'warrantless search'. They entered the home of a 23-year-old suspect and his mother based apparently on the fact that the suspect was on probation and subject to warrantless searches. They reported finding 1.5 grams of crack cocaine and a small amount of marijuana inside the residence. The placing of a blanket warrantless search status on someone, or the abuse of such a procedure to seek out drug charges, may be a constitutionally objectionable practice.

Police charged and held the man, and secured the residence. They then obtained a search warrant. In completing the search, they found a marijuana plant in the back yard, a shotgun, drug paraphernalia and ammunition. Authorities arrested the suspect and his mother on drug charges of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana, maintaining a drug dwelling, drug manufacture of cocaine, manufacturing marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. This is a somewhat surprising flood of charges considering the relatively small quantity of drugs found.

The police also found an individual in the front yard, searched him and found 43.5 grams of marijuana. They charged him with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, drug manufacture, felony possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. His mere presence on the front yard, however, may not have been enough to justify the search, which is an issue that may be examined in later court proceedings.

An arrest for drug charges in North Carolina must comply with the federal and state constitutional rights of the suspects. The propriety of the search will be determined in future proceedings, but there also appears to be a piling on of some charges having no factual support. There may be additional facts not yet known, but if there aren't any, then an early meeting with defense counsel to start an investigation and construct a strong defense is advisable.

Source: The Bladen Journal, "Three arrested on drug charges," W. Curt Vincent, May 3, 2013

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Contact Our firm

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

  • Avvo Rating | Top Attorney
  • Business North Carolina's Legal Elite
  • AV | Martindale-hubble | preeminent | 2018
  • North Carolina Advocates For Justice
  • Board certified Specialist | North Carolina State Bar
  • Super Lawyers | Woody White

Office Location

Woody White Law PLLC
2004 Eastwood Road
Suite 201
Wilmington, NC 28403

Toll Free: 866-677-8525
Phone: 910-338-4900
Fax: 910-679-4522
Wilmington Law Office Map

Woody White Law PLLC