Drug possession charges are among the most serious criminal charges you can receive, and you should never underestimate the degree to which your life will change should those charges result in a guilty verdict. If you're facing drug charges, contacting a qualified criminal defense attorney can ensure that your constitutional rights are upheld, and that you're provided a solid defense. Just because you've been charged with drug possession charges doesn't mean you are guilty of actual possession. This article outlines four of the major defense strategies often utilized by criminal defense attorneys.
Unwarranted Search & Seizure Tactics
One of the most effective defense strategies in criminal litigation involving drug charges is an unlawful search and seizure on the part of law enforcement officials. Unfortunately, much of the nation's police force is so determined to rid the streets of drugs that they resort to unlawful and sometimes unethical methods. Nonetheless, if law enforcement violated any laws or procedures concerning your rights to due process, a competent criminal defense attorney will uncover it and when he does, there's a very good chance you'll be released and all charges dropped.
Another effective defense strategy centers on what is known as entrapment. Law enforcement agencies are guilty of entrapment when they induce an individual to commit a crime that he or she otherwise would not have committed.
In other words, if law enforcement officials pressured, persuaded, convinced, or otherwise coerced you into buying, selling, holding, or transporting the drugs that led to your arrest and drug possession charges, than your stay behind bars will be a short one indeed. Entrapment is illegal, and if your attorney can prove you were indeed entrapped, it's likely your case will be promptly dismissed.
Proving that drugs were planted on your person is no easy task. Typically, the sworn testimony of an officer of the law is more compelling than that of one charged with drug possession, but proving that drugs were planted is not impossible.
Experienced criminal defense attorneys have a knack for spotting unscrupulous police officers and investigators, and may petition to review the arresting officer's complaint file. If your attorney can prove that the officer has a history of these "coincidental arrests", a judge or jury may be persuaded to rule in your favor.
This defense strategy is much more straightforward, and for the record, has a far higher success rate. In short, if the law enforcement agency that made your arrest fails to produce the illicit substances for which you were charged, there's a good chance your case will be dismissed. Ultimately, it will come down to your attorney proving that the evidence in question was material.
Overall, a criminal defense attorney has a number of tools at his disposal when it comes to drug charges, but unlawful search and seizure, entrapment, and planted or missing evidence are some of the most effective strategies of all. Talk to experts like Jeffrey D. Larson, Attorney at Law for more information.