Is it illegal search and seizure if I’m unconscious and the er call cops BC they search my possession and found drugs

I was treated at er for being passed
out drunk, while there they removed my
clothes and searched them and found
drugs and a scale. Then called the
police and I was arrested

Asked on May 4, 2016 under Criminal Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

That is perfectly legal. The prohibition against illegal searches and seizures applies to police or law enforcement action--not to the action of non-law enforcement. So if you are unconscious, the ER will properly and legally search your clothing: for your ID, for clues to your condition (e.g. pill bottles), and for valuables which they must safeguard. If they find illegal drugs, they can call the police; the police and prosecutors may rely on the drugs in arresting and charging you, because they--the law enforcement authorities--did nothing wrong: it wasn't the police who searched you, but rather non-police, properly looking in your clothing, brought the drugs to your attention.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.