Q: My “boyfriend” said he was gonna kill himself. I called the cops. Cops asked if they had the right to just look for him and not search anything else. I’ve now been charged with possession and possession paraphernalia. (Pittsburgh, PA)
A: I am going to assume that the police were legally in your premises to attend to your boyfriend and somehow you are charged with possession of controlled substances. This leads me to think that the police observed controlled substances, in plain sight, or at least allege they did. If they did, then they can charge you. If they opened drawers or closets then generally, they are not permitted to. This is unless they would argue that they were securing the immediate area to ensure no weapons were within reach of your boyfriend which included opening drawers and looking under cushions, or what have you. If the place smelled like drugs or your boyfriend acted under the influence, they may have more reason to be overly observant. This area of 4th Amendment Search and Seizure is complex. You should review the search issue with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.