If you’re facing drug crime charges, it’s important to understand that there are several different defenses you can use. These include lack of knowledge, unlawful search and seizure, and entrapment. There are also other, less well-known defenses that your attorney may use to help you win your case.
To be convicted of drug possession, the prosecution must prove that you knowingly or intentionally possessed the drugs. It is a difficult element to meet, and it’s possible to raise reasonable doubt about this by attacking the other elements.
For example, the defense of lack of knowledge states that you did not know the presence of the drugs or their nature. This is a common and effective strategy for drug cases that involve alleged simple possession. This defense could be strengthened by presenting evidence such as witness testimony, body cameras, police car video, and expert analysis of lab results.
Illegal Search and Seizure
When law enforcement officers search your property without a warrant, it’s illegal. In some cases, this can lead to the dismissal of the entire case. In other cases, it can result in the exclusion of certain evidence, such as any drugs that were found.
A criminal defense attorney can challenge the validity of the search by reviewing the circumstances surrounding the arrest and looking at the chain of custody issues, procedural errors, legal technicalities, and other factors.
In many drug sale and other related crimes, the prosecution tries to pin the crime on you by using a confidential police informant or under cover officer who supposedly “caught” you selling drugs. This is known as the entrapment defense and it can be an effective way to beat a drug conviction. However, you must be able to prove that you did not have the predisposition or intent to commit a crime until the undercover officer put it in your head. This is a hard defense to prove, but there are ways to strengthen it by challenging the veracity of the informant or undercover officer.
In some situations, the law assumes that you’re selling drugs if you have large quantities of the drug in your possession. You can argue that the drugs were for your own personal use and not for sale by demonstrating that they were in your pocket, purse, or glove box when the police found them. This could lead to a reduction in the charges and possibly a sentence that includes drug treatment instead of prison time.
Lastly, there is the defense of constructive possession. This is a tricky concept that allows the prosecution to charge you if they can show that you had the drugs in your possession, even if you didn’t have them on your person at the time of the arrest. For example, if the drugs were in your drawer, jar in the kitchen, or on the coffee table, you could be charged with possession with intent to distribute. Your attorney can challenge this by arguing that you did not have dominion and control over the drugs.