What to Do if You Are Charged With Drug Possession
In Pennsylvania and other states in the country, drug possession charges are very serious. Whether you are found to have illicit drugs to use or sell, you should take the situation seriously and retain an experienced criminal defense attorney. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, there are specific defenses your lawyer can use to fight the drug possession charges you face.
Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer
The first thing you should do when facing drug possession charges is to immediately contact a criminal defense attorney in Bucks County. You need the expertise and experience of a lawyer to build a strong defense in your case. An attorney can thoroughly review all the evidence against you and determine the best, valid defense to help you. Various defenses can be used depending on the circumstances.
Unlawful Search and Seizure
The defense can argue that the search the police conducted that led to uncovering the drugs was unlawful. For example, if the police lacked a warrant and entered the individual’s home and did a search without explicit permission and found drugs stashed in a dresser drawer, it is a violation of the person’s Fourth Amendment rights, and the case would be dismissed.
Not the Defendant’s Drugs
The prosecution is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the drugs belong to the defendant. A common defense by criminal defense lawyers in a drug possession case is to state that the drugs didn’t belong to the defendant but belonged to someone else.
Drugs Were Planted
The defense can argue that the drugs were planted by the police officer who claimed to have found them. However, this isn’t always the strongest defense as the officer’s testimony is usually strong and others may not want to blow the whistle on them.
Crime Lab Analysis
If the drug is analyzed in the crime lab and determined to be something other than what the defendant was arrested and charged with, the charges can be thrown out. For example, if a white, powdery substance is believed to be cocaine turns out to be flour, there would be no choice but to drop the case.
Drugs are Missing
Another common defense used in a drug possession case is to point out that the drugs are missing. If this is the case, the prosecution cannot present the evidence and the case can ultimately be dismissed. Sometimes, drugs in a possession case can get lost due to being transferred multiple times. Nonetheless, it is always best to consult with a drug possession attorney in Doylestown.
If an officer or informant encouraged or coerced the individual to commit a crime they might not have otherwise committed, the defense can argue there was entrapment. If they can successfully prove entrapment occurred, the case can be thrown out.
Medical Marijuana Exception
Pennsylvania is one of the states that now recognize marijuana use for medical purposes. As a result, if the defendant has a legal prescription for medical marijuana from a doctor to treat a specific medical condition, the defense can argue that the drug possession was legal.
If you face drug possession charges in Pennsylvania, contact a skilled criminal defense attorney at your earliest convenience.