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DENVER DUI LAW BLOG

Text Messages Ruled Inadmissible in Colorado Possession Case

It is good news for a Colorado man who is facing multiple drug charges. Stemming from an incident in Feb. 2008, the suspect was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine and possession with intention to distribute. Sources note that the suspect also has other cases of lesser charges pending against him, including an assault charge.

Based on a judge's recent decision in the drug charges case, it looks like the suspect will at least have those charges dismissed in court when the trial resumes in Nov. On Monday, Sept. 20, the primary incriminating evidence used against the suspect by the prosecution was ruled inadmissible in court.

Why?

The judge believes that the evidence was obtained unconstitutionally and that Colorado officials failed to follow "standardized procedure" when procuring the so-called evidence. Text messages and cell phone calls were what tipped off officials and led to the possession case against the suspect, and the court ruled that because the evidence was gathered by basically violating the suspect's privacy, none of the evidence collected based on that invasion is allowed in court.

The suspect's cell phone had been forgotten in a store's public restroom, and when the store clerk passed the lost phone on to a local officer, he answered incoming calls and read texts from the device. According to the police department, the messages were enough to get a warrant to legally search the suspect's residence. The search ensued, and officers allegedly found cocaine and other drug paraphernalia on the searched premises.

However, now that the text messages that led police to the suspect's alleged drugs and paraphernalia has been ruled inadmissible, sources are confident that the entire Colorado drug case will be dropped at the upcoming hearing. We will post an update when/if that decision is made. The prosecution, of course, will have the ability to appeal the decision.

Resource
aspendailynewsonline.com: Judge's ruling cripples case against alleged drug dealer (9/21/2010)

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