Each year there are thousands of people are arrested on charges of drug possession. Usually, these charges are a result of small quantities of controlled substances being found on them or in that person’s car.
These types of cases are what mostly overwhelm the criminal court dockets on a national level, which is why there are always drug possession defendants in and out of court for sentencing.
However, hiring a professional drug crimes lawyer can help you achieve a better outcome than if you were to go it alone.
Let’s discuss how an attorney who has worked on countless cases can fight these charges on your behalf.
Crucial Things About Drug Possession
Treating Drug Charge As High Priority
While drug possession charges are considered low on the totem pole for many attorneys, the strategy of handling your case intensely as one would with a murder charge would be most effective.
In other words, by creating several depositions, and requests of documents, you may be able to lead the prosecutor to drop the charges or initiate a plea agreement with a remarkably reduced sentence.
Something to keep in mind is that in most jurisdictions a prosecutor who fails to provide materials during discovery opens up any chances of being able to seek a dismissal of the charges.
Diversion Or Rehabilitation Programs
Did you know that there are some jurisdictions that provide rehabilitation programs for those caught with small amounts of drugs to participate in the rehabilitation of some form?
When presented with this opportunity, you likely would also be required to pay fines and court costs. Upon completing all that you are required to do, your charges are then dropped. And the creme de la creme is that there would be zero conviction on your record.
However, failing to stay off drugs means more severe criminal penalties and the need to pay for the treatment plan you participated in.
Can Probable Cause Be Proven?
Any good drug crimes lawyer will challenge the way in which the evidence was secured if he or she can prove that the reason the police officer stopped you was without probable cause.
You see, a traffic stop can be legal but the search leading to the discovery of the drugs may not have been legal if the officer did not have probable cause or a valid search warrant.
This happens more often than not depending on how the officer asks to search your car. If there is a way to reject the request to do a search without being arrested for resisting arrest, that is a highly recommended route to take.
As a matter of fact, it is your constitutional right to do so. Therefore, the evidence would be inadmissible if the officer still searches your person, home, or car without a warrant or probable cause after you have not given him or her permission.
Another weak link type of situation would be when constructive possession cannot be established. So what does that mean exactly? Well, constructive possession is when something is in your possession due to certain circumstances, even if the drugs may not be yours.
A good example is if you were to borrow your friend’s car to go to the store and after being pulled over for speeding, the officer asks to search the car and in doing so finds a small amount of marijuana in the car. Can the cop pin the drugs on you or on the car’s owner?
Ultimately, this makes it more difficult to prove drug possession beyond a reasonable doubt on you. A lawyer who knows what he or she is doing can fight this successfully.
Unlawful Search And Seizure
So this goes hand and hand with constructive possession. Thanks to the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, you are guaranteed the right to due process of law, which includes lawful search and seizure procedures before an arrest. Search and seizure issues are definitely a common occurrence as it pertains to drug possession defenses.
Essentially, illicit drugs found in plain view like on the dashboard can be seized and used as evidence. However, drugs discovered in the trunk of a car after prying it open without permission cannot be entered into evidence. If the defendant’s rights were violated, then the drugs can’t be used at trial and the charges will more than likely be dismissed.
Where The Drugs Planted?
You may think this is something that only happens in the movies, but this does happen in real life. Although it is difficult to prove drugs were planted due to the fact that a police officer’s sworn testimony is seen as extremely credible in the courtroom, it is not impossible to win such a defense.
There are good cops out there, but there are also dirty cops. Your attorney can file a motion that, if approved by the judge, would require the department to release the complaint file of the officer in question. That file has the names and contact information of those who made the complaints that can then be interviewed by your attorney or a private investigator.
Contact An Attorney For Help With Your Drug Case
Should you be facing drug possession charges, you should contact a drug crimes defense attorney who can solve the issue and win your case. A criminal matter involving drugs is not something you want to sit on even if you think it is a “minor crime.”
There can be real consequences so let a criminal defense attorney like Kim Stephens assist you with your case to avoid serious penalties.