Have you been arrested for the possession of controlled substances? Whether you were accused of possessing illegal drugs for personal use or
possession with intent to sell, a
Richmond drug crimes attorney from the firm will be able to determine which legal defense strategy to implement in your case. Many people believe that if you are caught will illegal drugs, you are as good as guilty. The truth is, that drug crimes are not impossible to beat, in fact there are several viable defense tactics that you should be aware of. Some defense strategies bring the testimony or evidence into question, while others deny your knowledge of the drugs or your intent to sell them. Here is a closer look at the possible drug possession defenses that you may be able to utilize in your case.
- Illegal Search and Seizure
According to the U.S. Constitution, the Fourth Amendment clearly states that all searches and seizure procedures must be lawful when taking a suspect into custody. This type of defense is based on whether or not the arrest officers followed protocol procedures. Law enforcement officials are not given the clearance to start searching your trunk or glove box without your consent or without a warrant. However, if the illegal drugs or paraphernalia are in plain sight, then law enforcement officers may be able to seize it and use it as evidence in your case. If a police officer was to break into a vehicle and search the glove box, or jimmy a trunk with a crowbar, then any evidence that they find may not be admissible as evidence in court.
They Did Not Have a Legal Reason To Stop My Vehicle
If law enforcement does not have a valid reason to stop your vehicle, then detaining you could be considered unconstitutional. This is also true if you were just walking down the street when they stopped you. Speak with your criminal defense attorney to find out if they had a constitutional reason to stop or detain you.
- The Drugs Do Not Belong to Me
This is a common defense in drug cases. The basis of this defense is that the drugs were present but you had no part in it because they belong to someone else. If law enforcement officials find a marijuana joint in your vehicle, who is to say that it didn't belong to one of the three passengers in the vehicle. In this case, it would be the prosecution's job to prove that the joint belonged to you specifically.
- The Drugs in Question Cannot Be Found
Typically in drug crime cases, the controlled substances that are seized are passed through a chain of command before they end up in the evidence locker. If for some reason the drugs go missing and the prosecution is not able to have the illegal drugs present as physical evidence, then the case may end up being dismissed. Just because drugs were seen at the time of arrest, does not mean that you should assume those drugs still exist.
- The Drugs Were Planted By an Officer
This defense is not used often because it is hard for law enforcement to believe that another officer would purposefully plant the drugs to justify an arrest. The personal testimony of a police officer holds a lot of weight to the judge. However, if you are able to get it approved by the court, you may be able to file a motion and formal complaint about that specific officer.
- I Was a Victim of Entrapment
In some cases, law enforcement conducts sting operations where they place an informant in the mix that encourages the suspect to give illegal drugs to a third party. In these cases, the drugs are often provided by the state. This type of scenario could be described as entrapment.
- It is Medical Marijuana
If you were found in possession of marijuana, then in some cases you can use the defense stating that it is used for medicinal purposes. However, this defense only works if you live in a state where medical marijuana is legal. In order for this defense to work, you must be able to prove to the court that you have a medical condition that requires the aid of medical marijuana. This typically required a valid doctor's prescription as evidence.
If you or someone you know is facing drug possession charges, then contact Vaughan C. Jones, Attorney at Law without delay. He will
review your case for free!