5 Possible Defenses In Drug Possession Cases
If you've been charged with an offense under drug possession law, you're likely trying to figure out what sort of defense you might present. There are several ways to think about a defense, and a drug possession lawyer may even be able to present more than one at the same time. Let's look at how you might defend yourself against drug possession allegations.
The Drugs Aren't Drugs
One of the simpler defenses is to challenge the validity of the claim that the drugs seized are drugs. The prosecution not only must provide tests showing that what was seized is an illicit controlled substance, but it also has to explain what tests were used so the defense can raise possible questions about the testing process. A failure by the state on any front in testing is grounds for a drug possession lawyer to seek the dismissal of the evidence or even the entire case.
Chain of Custody
A straight line has to point from the test results to something that was in your possession. This means the police have to preserve the chain of custody from the time an officer collects the evidence. Similarly, they have to preserve the chain of custody when the drugs are sent for testing and even when they come back into evidence. Any time someone touches the evidence, the prosecution must be able to document who did so, when they did, and why they did.
Another defense is that you were making legal use of the drugs in question, almost always for medical reasons. Notably, this is not an easy defense to use in conjunction with others because it means admitting that the items were drugs and that they were in your possession. This defense works best when you have supporting evidence, such as a prescription from a doctor.
This is a tough defense to assert against the police because cops will rarely put drugs into someone's possession and then bust them. It may hold up, though, if a police informant encouraged you to take possession of the drugs. Generally, there has to be pressure. It's not enough that someone else directed you to take the drugs. Instead, someone in a position to know better, such as a cop or an informant, didn't lay off when you refused.
Police officers have to justify arrests. This means they have to show they had probable cause to believe a crime happened before they can search your property or person. If the cops failed to observe proper procedures, that's an argument for dismissing the case.
To learn more, contact a drug possession lawyer.