If you're facing drug possession charges following an arrest, it's important to understand the defense options available to you. Even if you were physically caught with drugs, you still have some choices for your defense. Since every case is different, it's always best to work with a criminal defense attorney, but here are a few of the defense options that you may be able to use.
Mishandling of Evidence
In the process of any police investigation and trial, evidence is likely to be transferred several times, from the police department to the lab and then to the evidence lockup or another area. Through this movement, there's always the potential that some part of the evidence could be lost, misplaced, or improperly handled according to the chain of custody.
Don't assume that just because a case is moving forward, the prosecution still has all of the evidence intact, accessible, and legally admissible. Instead, have your attorney request that all of the evidence be presented at the trial. If there's something missing or the chain of custody was broken, you might be able to have the charges dismissed on the grounds of mishandling the evidence.
The Drugs Weren't Yours
This is sure to be a common claim for law enforcement to hear, but if the drugs legitimately weren't yours, your attorney will help you to prove that in court. If you can show, beyond reasonable doubt, that the drugs could have belonged to a passenger in the vehicle or to your babysitter, you might not be convicted.
The Search Was Illegal
Law enforcement officers are required to present a legal search warrant, obtain your consent, or have clear probable cause before they can legally search your property. If they search without one of these things, it could be considered an illegal search, making anything they found in the process inadmissible in court.
The difficult part of this defense is proving probable cause or the lack thereof. Consent to search and the presence of a warrant are easy to prove, but probable cause may be somewhat subjective. The evidence must be in plain sight or there must be other obvious indications of illegal activity before the officer can search.
If the search was supported by a warrant, you may still have a defense. Your attorney may be able to have the warrant deemed illegal if he or she can show that it was obtained through the presentation of inaccurate or misleading information.
Drug charges aren't always easy to build a defense against, but with the support of a criminal defense attorney who can evaluate your specific circumstances, you might have a better chance. Contact an attorney, such as Andrew H P Norton, as soon as possible to get help with your case.