Drug possession is a serious crime no matter where in the country you live, and a conviction can have serious ramifications for your future. If you are found in possession of an illegal controlled substance such as heroin, methamphetamine, or cocaine, you will face serious third-degree felony charges. If convicted, you could serve up to five years in prison and pay significant fines. The most important thing you can do after being arrested for drug possession is to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Attorney Mark Solomon, PA, has extensive experience successfully defending people against drug possession charges. We have listed some of the best tips for fighting a drug possession charge below.
Prove That You Were Not in Actual Possession of the Drug
You can face drug possession charges after having been in actual or constructive possession of drugs. Actual possession of drugs happens when a police officer finds the drugs on your “person,” meaning in your jacket pocket, your pants pockets, or in a backpack or purse that you are carrying. You may be thinking that you will not be convicted because you did not own the drugs on your person. However, you can still face charges even if you did not own the drugs in your pocket, and they belong to your friend. The fact that you did not own the illicit drugs is not a defense to drug possession crimes.
You can defend yourself by contending that you are never in actual possession of the drugs. Perhaps someone else put the drugs in your pocket, or the drugs were found in a bag that did not belong to you. You can also challenge this element of the case by claiming that the law enforcement officers to arrest you violated your constitutional rights. Your lawyer can call into question the search that law enforcement engaged in when they found the drugs.
To legally stop someone, law enforcement officers must have probable cause to search you or your vehicle. Probable cause means the officers had a reasonable suspicion that they have committed or are about to commit a crime. Law enforcement officers can pull you over based on a reasonable suspicion that you were committing a crime or about to commit a crime. Still, they cannot search for your person or your vehicle without proving that they had probable cause. When law enforcement officers cannot justify why they pulled you over or searched your car, you will likely have a winning defense that they violated your constitutional rights and the judge should throw out the charges against you.
Prove That You Were Not in Constructive Possession of the Drugs
Suppose you were charged with possession of illicit drugs after law enforcement found drugs in your apartment. In that case, you may be able to argue that you were not in constructive possession of the drugs. Prosecutors must prove that you knew the drugs were located where they were found, and you had the ability to control the drugs or access them to prove constructive possession. For example, suppose you are a passenger in a motor vehicle that you do not own, and law enforcement officers find cocaine in the glove compartment. In that case, you can be charged with constructive possession of an illicit drug so long as the following elements are met:
It can be difficult for prosecutors to prove that you knew drugs were in the location law enforcement officers found the drugs. For example, just because they found marijuana tucked inside a couch in an apartment you share with roommates does not mean they can prove you put the marijuana there or even knew about the marijuana. In other words, just because law enforcement officers found the drugs near you, or in a place you share with other people, does not mean you were in constructive possession of the drugs. Additionally, you claim that law enforcement officers violated your constitutional rights when searching for illegal drugs.
Crime Lab Analysis Defense
Police officers do not always properly identify substances. Just because something looks like LSD or cocaine does not mean it is. The prosecutor must prove that the substance was indeed properly identified by the police to succeed in convicting a defendant for possession of an illicit substance. They must send the evidence to the crime lab so experts can analyze the substance and confirm that it is an illegal drug. State crime labs are incredibly overburdened and have been known to make mistakes when analyzing chemicals.
They could and properly identify the chemical found at the crime scene, or they may even improperly weigh the drugs. When police officers or lab technicians wrongly way the drugs, you could receive a harsher charge and sentence as the penalties for drug possession are based on the weight of the drugs found at the crime scene.
The Drugs Were Planted
There are many different reasons why someone would plant drugs on you, in your car, or at your home. Perhaps they are seeking revenge, or they needed to ditch the drugs quickly to avoid being arrested themselves. The testimony of police officers carries a lot of weight during criminal trials, but you can claim that the drugs were planted by police officers or someone else. If successful, you will be able to show that you are not in actual or constructive possession of the illicit drugs and that you should be found not guilty.
Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
Every case involving drug possession is unique, and you need an experienced lawyer who will review the details of your case and develop an effective defense strategy. If you or your loved one are facing drug possession charges, contact today to schedule your initial consultation and learn how he can advocate for your rights.
1/29/2021 11:38:02 am
Thanks for explaining that there are two situations that can bring up drug possession charges, which are actual or constructive possession. It's nice to know the two different situations because my cousin was with a friend who had drugs that he didn't know about and he was still charged when his friend was caught. I'll let his parents know about this and also help them look online for a drug possession attorney that can help them understand what's happening so he can get the help he needs to get out of this tricky situation.
3/12/2021 08:06:10 am
Thank you for mentioning how law enforcement officers need to have a valid reason in order to search your vehicle legally. My wife was recently pulled over and arrested when police found marijuana in the trunk of her car, but she argues that there was no reason for her to be pulled over since she was sober and abiding by traffic laws while driving home from work. Maybe we should find a criminal law attorney that can help us with our case.
4/1/2021 09:48:56 am
I didn't know that you could still be charged with drug possession even if the drugs that were found didn't belong to you. My brother was recently arrested when police found marijuana in the camping backpack that he borrowed from his roommate last night. Maybe he should find a professional that can find a way to help him handle his case properly.
9/16/2021 10:58:13 pm
I do agree that when looking for a drug possession attorney, it is important to ensure they are experienced. It makes sense as it indicates they are skilled. I will definitely keep this information in mind.
9/30/2021 06:29:31 pm
Thanks for pointing out that lawyers can help develop an effective defense strategy. This is helpful because my husband was arrested last night due to drug possession. With this, we are hoping to find a skilled lawyer on Monday who can help clear his name since the drugs were planted inside his car.
It's interesting to know that drugs that are planted can happen because of revenge or when the suspect had to dispatch the drugs in your property. If that ever happens to me, I will make sure to look for drug crimes laywers to assist and defend me. They would probably find all the pieces of evidence that can tell that it was planted and clear my name immediately.
7/13/2022 05:34:23 pm
It's great that you elaborated that you could argue for the drug possession case as you have your rights. My best friend told me the other day that he was looking for help as his brother was convicted because of a Marijuana case, and he asked if I had any idea what would be the best option to do. Thanks to this enlightening article, I'll be sure to tell him that it will be much better if they consult a trusted marijuana attorney as they can provide legal assistance.
8/9/2022 03:54:25 am
It was most captivating when you mentioned that law enforcers do not always correctly identify substances. My friend is facing a drug possession case due to a misunderstanding. I should advise him to seek help from a drug possession lawyer to prove her innocence.
8/31/2022 12:40:53 am
Nice blog ppost
9/9/2022 01:01:28 am
My acquaintance is being accused of doing drugs. Since it is not his fault, he wants to fight. Thank you for saying that you may argue that you never had real possession of the narcotics in order to defend yourself. I'll tell my friend to get a drug crime defense lawyer to assist him with his case.
10/11/2022 05:45:12 am
My friend was arrested for drug possession, but he claims that the drugs belonged to his friend. It makes sense that he might want to get a lawyer to help prove that for him. I can see how that could help prevent the charges.
10/19/2022 04:40:35 am
Seven opportunity design none. Career walk certainly call our around.
12/6/2022 03:05:08 pm
It sounds like the severity of the charge lands you a different rate of bail. How much would it be for grand theft auto? I'm asking for my brother who just got arrested.
Leave a Reply.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
Call Toll Free 833-JAIL KEY (833-524-5539)
Fax: (954) 463-6759
901 South Federal Highway, Ste. 300,
Ft. Lauderdale, FL. 33316
Copyright © 2019 MarkSolomonLaw. All Rights Reserved. Website by Square D Marketing