Defense Methods Available for People Charged with Drug Possession
When you are charged with the possession of illegal drugs, whether for personal use or for the intent to sell, there are specific defenses that you might be able to use depending on the circumstances surrounding your case.
The following are a few common defense strategies against drug possession charges, some of which are used more commonly than others:
- Illegal search and seizure. Under the Fourth Amendment, you are protected from unlawful searches and seizures before your arrest. While drugs found in plain view may be taken as evidence if the police are legitimately in position to view them, officers are not allowed to conduct extensive searches without a warrant. As such, you should never consent to a search yourself.
- Not owning the drugs. You could claim that the drugs are not yours, or that you did not know they were in your home. The pressure is on the prosecution to prove that you were in knowing possession of the drugs and that they actually belonged to you.
- Lab analysis. Occasionally officers will take substances into custody that look like cocaine or heroin, but prosecutors must have crime lab analyzers test the substances and testify that the substance in question was actually a drug.
- Entrapment. In some circumstances, law enforcement officials might induce you to commit a drug-related crime you would not normally have committed without their pressure. Many entrapment cases occur when the state actually provides the drugs in question.
- Drugs planted. This can be tough to prove in court, but if you can prove or at least give a legitimate argument that the drugs were actually planted on your person or in your home, then you might avoid the potential penalties.
To learn more about how you can defend yourself against drug crime charges, speak with skilled Berks County attorney David R. Eshelman.