NM Woman's Cavity Search Costs Her $1,222

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on September 08, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

When police ordered a New Mexico woman's cavity search, no heroin was found. But the woman did get a steep, $1,122 bill for the search. The woman, who remains unnamed, has filed suit against the county asking them to cover the cost of the cavity search.

The body cavity search was ordered after police were tipped off by a "reliable source" that the woman had heroin.

On July 1st, a search warrant was issued. The woman was taken to Memorial Medical Center, where she was searched for drugs, reports MSNBC.

The search revealed no illegal substances. The woman wasn't arrested or charged with any crimes and was released, according to MSNBC.

And, to add insult to injury, the woman was sent a bill for $1,122 by Memorial Medical Center to cover the cost of the cavity search.

In most cases, for police to search a person or a person's property they need to obtain a search warrant. Search warrants are typically only issued after police make a showing to a judge that there is probable cause that a crime has occurred. And, that there is a likelihood that evidence of a crime or contraband will be found through the search.

When making this showing, police can rely on their own observations and evidence or on information given by informants or other sources. If police solely rely on sources or informants, they need to prove that their sources are reliable.

The New Mexico woman's cavity search was most likely legal if the source really was reliable. But, does that really mean she needs to be slapped with a $1,122 bill?

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