One of the first questions many people will have upon meeting with a drug crime defense lawyer covers how they might present the case. If you're facing such charges, it's a good idea to consider the potential defenses before you present one to the court. Here are four possible options for defending yourself against drug crime allegations.
The simplest defense is that the substance in question wasn't a drug. Cops make mistakes. As much as it might feel like a bad joke from a comedic movie, the police can and do mistake things like baby formula and powdered sugar for cocaine.
Similarly, there has to be a law prohibiting a substance before the cops can treat it as illegal. If you're confident that the police didn't find and seize a controlled substance regulated under existing law, that argument might be the entirety of your defense.
You also have the right to assert you were legally allowed to use a particular drug. Prescription usage is the most common argument. If the police accuse you of using a narcotic, for example, you may be able to show a doctor's prescription.
Similarly, you might have used a drug that was recreationally legal in the state. Bear in mind that you can only use a drug in a state where it's legally allowed. If you cross state lines into a jurisdiction where the drug is illegal, a drug crime defense attorney probably can't make that argument in your favor.
The cops have a job to do. More importantly, there are rules stating how they should do the job. Specifically, the police need to follow certain steps before they can stop someone, question them, or search their person, home, or vehicle. Also, there are rules for how they have to handle the alleged drugs to prove they belonged to a particular person. If the cops were lax in any of these aspects of police procedure, a drug crime defense lawyer will want to bring it to the court's attention.
Likewise, the prosecution also has to follow certain procedures. If a prosecutor failed to submit certain documents or inform the court about evidence or testimony, there's a defense angle there, too.
Failure to Prove
The state has the burden of proof. If the state can't prove its case, you have every right to tell the court it has failed in its duty. Even if the prosecution pushes for a jury trial, you have the right to ask the jury to vote not guilty on the grounds the state didn't meet its burden.
Reach out to a lawyer like Gary L. Morris Attorney at Law to learn more.Share