Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.
Covered by New York Times, and other outlets. Fake heiress accused of conning the city’s wealthy, and has an HBO special being made about her.
Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.
Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.
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Last Updated on: 17th October 2023, 10:57 pm
Getting charged with drug possession can be scary. Even if you’re innocent, proving it can be an uphill battle. Let’s break down some of the most common defenses used against drug possession charges so you can understand your options better.
If the police found drugs through an illegal search of your home, car, or person, the evidence can be thrown out. The 4th Amendment protects us from unreasonable searches and seizures. But the police don’t always follow proper procedures when getting a warrant or doing a search. If they cut corners, any evidence found may not be admissible in court.
For example, if the police searched your car without permission or probable cause, the drugs found may be excluded. Or if they got a warrant based on false or misleading info, the search could be invalidated. Sloppy police work doesn’t always get a pass.
Similarly, if the police pulled you over or detained you illegally, any drugs found may be excluded. The police need a valid reason, like seeing you commit a traffic violation, to stop you. They can’t just pull you over for no reason on a fishing expedition for drugs.
So if they stopped you without cause, then found drugs during the illegal stop, a good lawyer can often get that evidence thrown out. The drugs would be “fruit of the poisonous tree,” meaning they were found by exploiting an improper stop.
One of the most common defenses to drug possession charges is to simply claim the drugs weren’t yours. For example, maybe you borrowed someone’s jacket and didn’t know there were drugs in the pocket. Or a friend left drugs in your car after getting a ride. If you can show you didn’t know about the drugs or intend to control them, you may be able to beat the charges.
This defense can be tricky, though, because most states only require you to knowingly possess the drugs. So even if they aren’t yours, if you knew they were there and could control them, you could still be convicted. It’s a subtle distinction that depends a lot on the specific facts.
In some cases, you can argue you never even knew the drugs were there. For example, maybe someone slipped drugs into your bag without your knowledge. Or drugs were secretly stashed somewhere in your home. If there’s no evidence you knew about them, it’s hard to prove possession.
This defense works best when the drugs are found somewhere that other people have access to, like the trunk of your car, a jacket pocket, or hidden in your home. It’s much harder to prove you didn’t know about drugs found in your pants pocket, for example.
Most drug possession charges require you to possess a minimum amount of drugs. So if the amount is very small, you may be able to get the charges dropped or reduced. For example, some states set the limit at an ounce or less of marijuana. Even if it’s technically illegal, such a small amount may not warrant prosecution.
The limits vary based on the drug and the jurisdiction. But it’s worth investigating if the amount you supposedly possessed falls below the legal threshold for a possession charge.
In rare cases, you may be able to claim entrapment. This means the police induced or pressured you into committing a crime you otherwise wouldn’t have. Simply giving you an opportunity to commit a crime isn’t entrapment. But if an undercover cop hounded you relentlessly to get drugs for them until you gave in, that may cross the line.
Entrapment defenses are very hard to win, though. Unless the police conduct was truly over the top, the defense probably won’t work. But it’s still worth exploring if you felt coerced.
Drug charges should always be taken seriously. The penalties can be severe, and a conviction can haunt you for life. So if you’re being charged, get advice from an experienced criminal defense lawyer. A good lawyer can evaluate the evidence, identify any police misconduct, and raise viable defenses to give you the best chance of beating the charges.
Every case is different, but with strong legal advocacy, many people charged with drug possession avoid convictions. So don’t just give up – fight the charges strategically with expert help. It could make all the difference.
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