Mistaken Drug Raids

It is a beautiful day. You are home, minding your own business. Suddenly, you see a van approach your house. Out from it, emerges a team of heavily armed cops and K-9 units, who forcibly make their way into your home.

Before you even realize what is going on, they search the premises, make a big mess, turning the whole place upside down. Only then do you realize that you have been on the receiving end of a mistaken drug raid.

Far More Common Than You Think

If you think this scenario is too far-fetched, you will be surprised to know that such incidents happen with alarming regularity across the country. There have been instances where cops have mistaken common plants for weed and have conducted drug raids. These plants include okra, hibiscus, ragweed, horsemint, oregano, apple mint, catnip, blackberries, and many others. 

Even chaste trees, which are common plants often used in front yards, are frequently mistaken for marijuana.

If you are growing any of these plants in your yard, law enforcement might pay you a “not-so-friendly” visit. Their reason to do so can be based on an anonymous tip or part of some underground operation.

 A wrongful raid, where overzealous officers mistake a common plant for weed, can be stressful and traumatic for a homeowner. Your reputation in the community could be adversely affected after the raid–even if the cops admit they made a mistake and issue an apology. Sometimes, however, things go too far, and the raids result in property damage, injuries, and even death.

Dealing with Cops during a Drug Raid

What can you do if you believe you are being mistakenly raided for drugs? The first rule is to never be aggressive or combative with law enforcement. During a drug raid, cops usually come armed, because they expect to be met with deadly force from unlawful elements. They are well within their rights to respond with deadly force in such a scenario. Even verbal aggressiveness on your part can cause problems for you.

Here are the most sensible things to do in this situation:

  •      Show the officers your identification card.
  •      Politely inform them that there has been a mistake.
  •      Tell them the plant they think is cannabis (weed) is actually a common plant.
  •      Give them the name if you know it.
  •      Ask them to take a sample and have it tested in a laboratory, if they are unsure.

This calm and rational approach usually defuses a volatile situation. Once the officers realize they have made a mistake, they usually apologize and go away.

In case things take a turn for the worse, however, and the raid results in significant property damage or injuries to you or your family members, contact the Gouner Law Office immediately.

Written By: Benjamin Roussey

May we help you with a legal situation? To schedule a private consultation, call the Gouner Law Office at 225-293-6200 or toll free 800-404-1921You can also fill out our contact form.

Share this Article:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *