How A Defense Lawyer Looks At Drug Possession Charges

Law Blog

Drug possession is a fairly common criminal charge. If you're facing allegations, you may benefit from thinking about how a drug possession lawyer would likely handle the situation. Here are three of the defense options available under drug possession law.

Questioning the Logic for the Initial Arrest

Generally, drug possession cases arise from circumstances where police encounter members of the public without knowing what those citizens have on them. For example, you might be pulled over during a traffic stop and a police officer may insist they smell weed or that your pupils are dilated. Even if a cop had reasonable suspicion, they still have to work their way to probable cause. They can only briefly stop you without further indications a crime might have happened.

Since drug possession law requires some legal logic for why the police felt someone committed a crime, this is usually the first defense a drug possession lawyer considers. If a cop stopped someone walking on the street, for example, the officer has to have reasonable suspicion. The police can't randomly stop people, although there are some arguments about stops in high-crime areas.

Arrests of this type have to be accompanied by affidavits. This is a sworn statement from the cop explaining what the reasonable suspicion was, how it escalated to probable cause, and why they subsequently determined you had illegally possessed drugs. If the police fail in any of these steps, a drug possession lawyer may ask the judge to throw out the charges.

Not Drugs

Another defense is declaring that the substance wasn't a drug. For example, some white substances, such as dry milk or powdered sugar, may be mistaken for cocaine. The police should conduct testing, and you have the right to question the validity of any positive tests.

The Drugs Aren't Illegal

With the rise of recreational and medical drug legalization, this tactic is becoming a more common defense. However, be aware that legally acquiring drugs in one state doesn't necessarily allow you to take them to another state. If you bought marijuana in Colorado, for example, you should use it before leaving the state.

Prescription drugs also fit under this defense. You'll have to provide evidence that you have a prescription, though. Likewise, you may not want to assert this defense if the medication is well past the date of the prescription. As such, keeping previously prescribed medicines may not be a good idea. Proper use according to the prescription, though, is a viable defense.

Contact a drug possession lawyer for more information. 


9 November 2020