Drug possession charges are always hard to deal with. Due to the fervent nature of law enforcement officials, it seems that there’s no way other ways to avoid punishment for these accusations. This may leave you feeling hopeless and frustrated at most times.
However, keep yourself together and your hopes high. Know that you can be protected by many laws and make use of several defenses against drug possession charge. Here’s a list of defenses provided by the law that can shield you against drug crimes.
Illegal Search or Seizure
The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution states that, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
To put simply, the police can’t search or seize you and your property without any proof that you made a crime, including drug-related cases. Any evidence taken during the illegal search may not be used against you at a trial. Consequently, the State can’t proceed and the charge will usually be dismissed.
Lack of Possession, Proof of Knowledge or Intent & Presence of the Actual Drugs
Lack of Possession can be used as a defense when the drugs taken in the scene of the crime aren’t owned by the accused. If there’s more than one person in the scene and at the time when the drugs are confiscated, the defense would likely to be more successful.
Another defense that falls into lack of possession is the “unwitting possession”, in which a person may have the drugs, but no idea of having it. For instance, you receive an unexpected package that has drugs in it. If you and the delivery person don’t have any idea about the package and its content, then you’ll not be found legally guilty.
You can also use the defense of Proof of Knowledge or Intent when having no idea about the possession of the drugs. The Law states that it must be proven by the State that you have a particular state of mind at the time the drugs are confiscated. Otherwise, the charges may be dropped.
Aside from making sure that you must the knowledge of possessing the drug, the State must as well be able to show the actual drugs for which you’re being charged with. If you’re charged with drug possession, yet there’s no presence of the actual drug being held by the State, your charge would be dismissed.
Miranda Rights Violation
Miranda Warning is notification customarily given by police informing that you have the rights to remain silent and refuse to answer questions; violation of it happens the police officer didn’t warn you about your rights. Everything you said to the police officer before the Miranda warning has been said by him/her would not be used against you in a court.
The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution states that “whenever a person is taken into police custody, the individual must be told of his right to not make any self-incriminating statements before being questioned by the police.”
Entrapment defense refers to the abuse of power by the law enforcement in discovering the drugs. It happens when a police officer induces a person into making a crime that he/she doesn’t want to do; or uses another person who works for the police, such as an informant, who would also use another person into passing drugs to a third-party.
It is, however, not entrapment if an undercover police officer is not telling the truth in order to know whether you possess drugs or not. Acting as a drug buyer/dealer in an undercover is a lawful method. What’s more, it’s legal and not entrapment when an undercover agent will arrest someone who’ll buy drugs from him/her during the undercover.
Addiction & Medical Marijuana Exception
There are possible legal aids from the criminal justice system help you’re caught while you had been or are addicted to drugs or alcohol. You can connect with the Legal AED Criminal Lawyer in determining these kinds of help, as well as in getting legal aid.
After which, if you will be offered with a Treatment Court, which includes intensive supervision. If you’re willing to undergo and successfully complete the program, an adjudication of your sentence will greatly happen. This means all your charges will be dismissed
Additionally, if you’re caught possessing marijuana as a medical treatment, then you must be a resident in a state that legalizes usage of marijuana, diagnosed with a qualifying condition, and have a medical prescription with you in order to be exempted.
Deferred Prosecution Programs (DPP)
DPP is a program made to give the young people, who aged from 17 to 24 at the time of the offense and in trouble for the first time, specifically, those haven’t been previously convicted or supervised for a Class B offense or above; the chance to rehabilitate himself or herself without a criminal conviction.
This means you can avail a plea bargain that will divert your sentence in order to help keep low-level, misdemeanor cases out of jail. As long as you readily complete the certain requirements of the programs, your charge will be dropped.
The basic thing to do to avoid drug possession arrest is basically to refrain from using illicit drugs. It’s maybe impossible for others as they use drugs as medications or the drugs may have withdrawal symptoms. It’s hard, but there’s no progress if there’s no struggle. You have to endure it.
In addition, don’t foolishly make-up your owns defense nor manipulate evidence. It’s best when you or someone you know would contact experienced criminal defense lawyers when dealing with drug possession cases as soon as possible. They would protect clients at all costs.