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Can You Fight Drug Charges?

| May 21, 2021, 08:00 AM

Are you facing drug charges for the first time? You may feel confident that you’ll beat the charges. You may feel panicked and don’t know what you should do. Here is the truth: both feelings are valid. However, they’re only valid in certain cases.

Drug charges are serious, especially if they’re felony drug charges. For first offense felony drug charges in many states, you’ll face a mandatory license suspension and six months in jail.  For drug trafficking charges, you could face over a decade in prison

On the other hand, you can feel confident knowing that you could have several legal options when fighting the charges. Before crafting a legal strategy, involve a drug charge lawyer sooner rather than later.

Let’s explore ways to get the best outcome.

Treat the Case Seriously

A drug trafficking charge is a minor offense, but you should treat the charge like a murder case. Prosecutors are overworked, and drug charges are low-priority cases.

If you make a big deal out of your case, you can wear down the prosecutor. As a result, they could reduce or dismiss the charges. Conversely, this tactic could backfire because your intensity may cause the prosecutor to respond with equal intensity.

You can add more busywork to this case by:

  • Filing multiple depositions
  • Submitting document requests
  • Requesting admissions of new evidence

You’ll mostly create busy work during the discovery phase. The discovery phase is a pre-trial process where both sides can request evidence from the other side.

During this phase, you can request documents and engage in interrogations.

Rehab2Perform

Unjust Evidence Gathering

Another tactic entails questioning how the police obtained the evidence. Many officers stop a motorist and search a vehicle without probable cause.

This is a violation of the Fourth Amendment. Authorities need the warrant to search through your personal items.

An officer may ask to search for your vehicle. They could also imply that you have no choice but to comply.

Say no at all costs if it won’t result in your arrest. If an officer searches your vehicle, they can use anything they find as evidence against you.

If an officer obtained the evidence illegally, it will be inadmissible in court. Even if the stop was legal, an officer still needs a just reason to search your property.

Muddy the Waters

An officer may find something that’s not technically a drug. Illegal drugs generally fall under some type of state or federal classification.

If the discovered drug doesn’t fall under these categories, the prosecutors have a harder time proving the illegality of the drug.

In other cases, the charges can amount to a simple mistake. If you have a bag of oregano, for example, an officer could mistake it for marijuana.

Even if the lab results work against you, your attorney should still challenge the lab report. A challenge forces the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the drug is an illegal substance. Remember: give the prosecutor a headache wherever possible.

If you challenge the evidence, the burden falls on the prosecutor to:

  • Summon a lab professional to confirm the results
  • Schedule a proper time so the lab technician can testify
  • Work with the court’s administrative schedule

Another headache comes in the form of cost. Prosecutors must pay for the technician to testify, which can be expensive. Further, the prosecutor may struggle to accommodate the court’s schedule and the technician’s schedule.

The technician must testify during their off days, which doesn’t always match the court’s schedule. Moreover, the lab technician could be reluctant to testify since they test drugs routinely for cases like yours.

If they had to testify in every small drug case, they would never get any work done. All of these factors may cause the prosecutors to drop or reduce the charges.

Liquified Creative Annapolis

Challenge the Chain of Evidence

In other cases, a defendant could face charges for drugs they never owned. Labs and evidence rooms can be chaotic and disorganized. It’s not uncommon for prosecutors to link the case drugs that aren’t yours.

Therefore, ask for proof in the chain of custody. If prosecutors cannot find the evidence, they must dismiss the charges.

Prove Ownership

Proving ownership can be a difficult feat in the courtroom. An officer may have found drugs in your home or car, but it may not be yours.

A friend or acquaintance could have left drugs behind. When you challenge ownership, the prosecution must prove the drugs belong to you.

You Were Framed

Someone may have intentionally left the drugs behind so you can take the fall. Plus, it’s possible, that a law enforcement official could have planted the evidence.

However, you can fight frame-ups in two key ways:

  • Look Into the Officer’s Record: An officer who frames you may also have a lengthy disciplinary record.
  • Submit a Request for Bodycam Footage: Officers usually wear body cameras, but they’ll turn it off if they intend to frame you.

According to Criminal Defense Attorney Jarrett Maillet, an experienced attorney can request bodycam footage and determine if it was turned off at some point. This will help you fight drug paraphernalia charges.

The Best Way to Fight Drug Charges

The most effective way to fight drug charges is through a drug charge attorney. They can convey the best defense strategy based on your situation.

Your attorney can challenge the evidence case at every turn, causing additional hurdles for the prosecution. By forcing prosecutors to work more, you stand a reasonable chance of beating the charges.

Severn Bank

 

Category: Local News, NEWS

About the Author - Stephanie Maris

Stefanie is a local blogger and social media content marketer from Maryland and most recently a wife and a mother. She has an unhealthy obsession with puns, sarcasm and caffeinated beverages.

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