Illegal Search at Summer Camp

Help from Summer Camp Music Festival Drug Charges

The Summer Camp Music Festival in Chillicothe, Illinois has grown in popularity and reputation every year since its inception. The wildly popular event draws tens of thousands of attendees not only from across the United States, but from all over the world. Unfortunately, several hundred people are arrested, cited, and charged with misdemeanor and felony drug offenses every year while on their way to Summer Camp or while attending the festival.

Valid Reason Needed for Traffic Stops

Many of these drug charges cases start as traffic stops or traffic busts. Some of these stops involve drug dogs while others do not. Some of these cases involve the alleged possession or alleged sale of drugs while attending Summer Camp. Regardless of how these cases result in arrests and charges there is a proper procedure that police and law enforcement are supposed to follow while investigating these cases.

For traffic stops there must be a valid reason to stop a vehicle on its way to or from Summer Camp. The reason can be as simple as speeding even one mile per hour over the posted speed limit, but there must be a valid reason. A few years ago there were several people who were pulled over and charged with drug crimes in Putnam County for allegedly failing to yield to a stopped emergency vehicle (Scott’s Law).

After several of these cases were litigated and contested in court by the defense, many of the charges were dismissed due to improper police procedure. In this Putnam County example, law enforcement created a false reason for the emergency vehicle to be stopped alongside the roadway in order to create justification to stop passing vehicles for violating Scott’s Law.

At Miller Law Offices, P.C., my team has many years of experience litigating illegal searches under search and seizure provisions of criminal defense. I have obtained excellent results for our clients that have resulted in criminal charges being dismissed.

The Importance of Probable Cause to Search a Vehicle

Once a police officer has a vehicle pulled over, there must also be a valid legal reason to search the vehicle in order for the evidence found to be admissible in court. If the driver or owner of a vehicle gives permission to search, then that can be the reason for a valid search. If the officer smells fresh or burnt cannabis (weed, marijuana, pot), then that can also serve as the basis for a valid search.

The reason why your vehicle was stopped or searched while on the way to Summer Camp is important. If proper police procedure was not followed during the illegal search of the vehicle, then anything found as a result of that search has the potential to be thrown out by the judge. Such a finding usually results in a case being thrown out or dismissed since there is no evidence that can be used in the case.

Illegal Search of Person or Property at Summer Camp

For similar reasons, searches of a person and their property while actually attending Summer Camp can also provide the basis to have a case dismissed. If the police and law enforcement do not follow proper procedure in obtaining evidence (i.e. drugs, drug paraphernalia, etc.) to use against someone, then it can also be an illegal search that results in evidence being thrown out and not allowed to be used in a case.

Whether it is a traffic stop case or a drug bust or undercover drug operation at Summer Camp, the police must have probable cause or at least a reasonable suspicion to justify their actions of stopping, searching, and arresting a person and his car or belongings.

Lawyer with Experience Fighting Illegal Search Cases

Such issues in criminal law fall under the subject matter of search and seizure law. When motions are filed by the defense to fight cases for such reasons they are usually called a Motion to Suppress Evidence and Quash Arrest. Sometimes these are wrongly called a “Motion to Squash” by people not fully familiar with the criminal justice system.

One of the first things I do in every drug case I handle is to review the evidence to see if proper procedure was followed and to discover if there is a valid basis for a Motion to Suppress Evidence and Quash Arrest (Motion to Quash). Such valid motions can result in a drug case ultimately being dismissed for lack of evidence.

Being this thorough is simply one more way to provide the best defense possible when facing drug charges. Every single drug-related charge arising out of Summer Camp carries possible jail time or prison time under Illinois State law. Don’t take these criminal charges lightly! Call the experienced and dedicated team at Miller Law Offices, P.C. today!