If you’ve been accused of drug possession, don’t panic. It’s easy to assume that there is no escape from this accusation. The authorities would have you believe that they found you with an illicit substance, and there’s no way you can win your case.
This simply isn’t true. Drug possession isn’t a cut-and-dry accusation. It’s often based on assumption. Remember, guilty verdicts are based on a lack of “reasonable doubt.” Your attorney can poke holes in the prosecution’s assumptions, thus creating that doubt in your case.
If you’ve been accused of drug possession, here are some helpful, effective defenses you can use in court.
1. Unwitting Possession
Intent is a large part of any effective criminal prosecution. Your accused must prove that you had drugs on you, and you were aware of what you were doing.
Perhaps you were carrying a narcotic, and you were completely unaware that you were doing so. Maybe you borrowed someone else’s jacket or car. The cops searched your pockets or glove box, and they found drugs you didn’t know where there.
If you didn’t know that you had drugs in your possession, you can plead “unwitting possession,” meaning the drugs were not yours, and you shouldn’t be penalized for carrying them.
2. Lack of Possession
An effective possession accusation must prove that someone had the drugs in the first place. It’s easy for police to assume you are the owner, or possessor, of an illegal item. Imagine you are at someone’s home, and the police come in to raid the place. They find bricks of heroin and assume you work with that person.
In a situation like this, you can argue a lack of possession. This means that, even if drugs were in your direct vicinity, they did not belong to you.
3. Operating Under Duress
It’s no secret that the drug world is full of dangerous people. Often, they intimidate others into doing their work for them, attempting to keep the police off their trail.
Coercion, or operating under duress, is an effective defense against drug possession. If someone threatens you or your family, forcing you to carry out illegal acts, you can explain your situation in court.
4. Accusing the Police of Improper Tactics
There are several mistakes officers can make in an arrest, and many of them can help your defense. For instance, police are often guilty of breaking the “plain view” rule. When officers have a warrant, they are restricted to certain places. If they see any other illegal activity in that area, they can make an arrest. Therefore, when police enter the home of an armed robber and see drugs in “plain view” on the table, they can add possession charges to their case.
The cops cannot, however, go roaming beyond the bounds of their warrant. If they have permission to enter the living room, they shouldn’t wander off to the bathroom. Anything they find in there should not be admissible in court.
Other examples of improper tactics include forcing a confession, illegal surveillance, searching private items such as cellphones without permission, entrapment, and more. Make sure to tell your attorney every detail of your arrest. If they spot evidence of the police doing something illegal, they can use this to help get your case thrown out.
Our firm is ready to help defend you against a drug possession allegation. For a free consultation, fill out our online contact form, or call us at (775) 502-1575.