Drug possession is one of the more serious drug crimes that can land you in serious trouble with the authorities. Depending on the type of drug substance involved, as well as the amount, the charges you face could range from a misdemeanor to a more serious felony charge. If you have been arrested for drug possession, there a number of defenses you can employ to beat the charges against you. Read on to see if these 2 defenses may be relevant to your particular case.
Unlawful search and seizure
Police are typically required to have reasonable cause to stop and search you. In cases where drugs were found in your possession without a constitutional basis for both the search and seizure, you may be able to use this defense in court to beat the charges.
Any evidence obtained illegally, either without probable cause to search you, under unlawful surveillance or through threats against you or other parties, will usually not be eligible in court. Police may also be at fault of abusing their powers if they planting drugs on your property or induce you into buying drugs when you would not have normally done so.
Another scenario where this defense would apply is when the search warrant used on your case was invalid. This usually refers to instances where the information used to obtain the warrant was misleading, incomplete or false, or when the police exceeded the scope of the warrant while conducting their search. Any evidence obtained via an invalid search warrant is usually deemed illegal, and must thus be suppressed during trial.
An experienced criminal lawyer (such as one from Hart Law Offices, PC) can help scrutinize the search and seizure protocols used by the police to find evidence that they were unconstitutional.
Lack of possession
It may sound counterintuitive to deny possessing drugs that were found on your property, but this can be applicable in a number of scenarios. In order to find you legally guilty of drug possession, the police must prove in court that you had knowledge of the drug's presence on or about your vicinity, as well as control and dominion over the property on which the drugs were found.
This can be tricky for law enforcement to prove beyond reasonable doubt in some cases. For instance, if drugs are found in your car, but you were carrying several passengers, the police may find it very difficult to accuse just one person of possessing the drugs. Your lawyer can use 'constructive possession' to show that you either weren't aware of the presence of the drugs or had no control or dominion of the car at the time.