When you are charged with drug possession and distribution, you should immediately look for legal assistance. Accusation and guilt beyond a reasonable doubt are two different things. Just because you are issued with drug charges doesn’t mean that you are guilty.
A defense attorney will determine what defenses you will use in order to prove your innocence. The federal government has created tough guidelines for drug sentencing. However, they may be minor differing points in different states.
There are some defenses that challenge the testimony, evidence, or stated facts in the case. Others are targeting the procedural errors such as the violations of search and seizure. Some defendants also challenge these charges on an affirmative defense. The right to use marijuana as medication in some states is an example of an affirmative defense.
Here are some of the defenses to the charges of drug possession and distribution:
- Search and Seizure: Unlawful
The U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment states that the right to due law process will include the lawful procedures of search and seizure before having an arrest. This procedure is quite recurrent in drug cases.
The illegal drugs found in a “plain view,” like in your car’s dashboard, can be seized and may be used as evidence. On the other hand, illegal drugs found in a car’s trunk after trying to open it using a crowbar without the permission of the suspect can’t be used as evidence at a trial. Charges will be dismissed if there are any violations of the Fourth Amendment rights of the defendant.
- Drugs Belonging to Someone Else
The most common defense that you can apply to any charges of crime is to simply say that you did not do it. In the case of charges of drug possession and distribution, claiming that the drugs are not yours can be used as a solid defense.
- Crime Laboratory Analysis
The substance that looks like an LSD or cocaine may not be an LSD or cocaine. The prosecution should prove that the seized substance is really an illegal drug. This can be done if the substance is sent to a crime laboratory for analysis. The crime laboratory analyst should also testify at trial for the prosecution to make the case.
- Missing Drugs
A skilled defense attorney will ensure that the prosecutors are producing the actual drugs for which their defendant is being charged. N.J. Preovolos Law Corporation offers skilled defense attorneys that could help you in your drug case. Prosecutors who lack or lose the actual drugs will increase the chances of case dismissal. Seized drugs sometimes get transferred multiple times before placing it in the evidence locker. This is why it is never assumed that the evidence is the actual one during the trial.
- Planted Drugs
This can be difficult to prove since a police’s sworn testimony matters a lot in the courtroom. In addition, other police officers can be hesitant to report a fellow police officer. However, your defense attorney can do something about that. There is a requirement for the department to issue a complaint against the said officer if given the approval of the judge. This complaint report will contain the personal information of those who issued the complaints. Your defense attorney or any private investigator will interview them about the matter.
These are just some of the common defenses that you can use when charged with drug possession and distribution. Even when all of them are not applicable, a defense attorney needs to find a gap to win your case. Thus, you need to trust your attorney.