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Student Searched on School Property for Investigation of Off-Campus Crime

Student Searched on School Property for Investigation of Off-Campus Crime; Gets Charged with Weapon on School Property and Marijuana

Attorney: Dylan W. Greenwood

Charge: Weapon on Educational Property; Possession of Marijuana

Case Result: Dismissed by Court due to Motion to Suppress for Improper Search

County: Forsyth

What Happened

Police were investigating a carjacking that happened off school property and they believed that students at the school may have been involved. The following day, police, along with school officials, brought the client to the office and immediately began searching his bookbag and patting him down. Police admitted that this search was done because of the events that happened the day before. Police found a knife and marijuana in the bookbag.

Searches of Students

School officials have broad powers to search students when it comes to ensuring school safety and a calm learning environment. Almost any search for those reasons by school officials would pass a court’s scrutiny and be allowed. However, these rules change when it is an officer conducting a search for an investigation of an event that occurred off school property. These searches are under the same scrutiny as any search done without a warrant—probable cause.

Read our Message to Parents here.

Warrantless Searches

The Constitution protects you from unreasonable, warrantless searches and seizures. However, courts have granted exceptions for some searches without a warrant. These typically occur when there is enough evidence to show that it is more probable than not that criminal activity is happening and there is an important reason to justify the immediate search. Oftentimes, this is due to officer safety and/or concerns about evidence being destroyed.

Charges Dismissed for Improper Search

In all criminal cases, Greenwood Law looks to protect your constitutional rights immediately. This case was no different. This client’s constitutional rights were trampled by this unconstitutional, warrantless search, and we felt it was our duty to bring this to a court’s attention. When this occurs, we file what is called a Motion to Suppress. These motions prevent evidence obtained through unconstitutional means from being presented to a court. We filed our Motion to Suppress due to the police not obtaining a warrant for the search. The court granted our motion and dismissed all charges against the client.

Feel that You Were Unlawfully Searched?

Filing a Motion to Suppress is complicated. In some cases, it is required for the motion to be done in writing before ever going into court. Often times, it is in your best interests for a written motion to be filed anyway. These motions require lots of legal research and preparation. Experienced attorneys understand what issues to look for and how to present your case.

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney Today

To speak with one of our experienced criminal law attorneys at Greenwood Law, please call us right away at 336-794-6138. We are always ready to listen to you and fight for your rights. If you feel that you were unlawfully searched or are facing charges for a weapon on educational property and/or possession of marijuana, contact us today for a free initial consultation.

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