Four Defenses In Drug Possession Cases
Of all drug crimes, those involving simple possession are the least serious. Still, that does not mean the penalties are not harsh. The possession of any controlled substance is a crime that is taken very seriously in Ouachita Parish, and throughout the state of Louisiana. If convicted, you may face many years in jail, high fines, and other penalties. If you have been charged, our Ouachita Parish drug crime lawyer outlines four defenses that may be applicable in your case.
Violation of Fourth Amendment Rights
Under the Fourth Amendment, all Americans have the right to be protected from illegal search and seizures. This means that before law enforcement officers can conduct a search and seize evidence as a result, they must usually have a warrant to do so. There are some exceptions to this, such as when a person is pulled over for drunk driving.
If law enforcement should have obtained a warrant before searching your property and they failed to do so, this could act as a defense in your case. Any evidence obtained through an illegal search and seizure is not admissible in court and so, it cannot be used against you.
Challenging the Chain of Custody
It is also sometimes possible to challenge the chain of custody in drug cases. When police officers seize an illegal substance, they must make sure it is handled and stored properly. If it is not, this can be used as a defense. For example, a police officer may seize a substance they believe to be cocaine from your vehicle. The substance may be a very innocent material, though, such as bath salts. If the legal substance is not stored properly, it could become mixed with an illegal substance, which could unfairly work against a defendant.
Proving the Drugs Did Not Belong to You
Arguing that the drugs in question did not belong to you can serve as a valid defense, but it is one of the most difficult to prove. You must not only show that the drugs did not belong to you, but you must also show that you were not aware of the presence of the drugs. For example, if you were unaware that your friend left drugs in your vehicle, that may be used as a defense. On the other hand, if the drugs were not yours but you allowed your friend to store them in your vehicle, that is not a defense.
Entrapment is another defense that can be used, but that is very difficult to prove. Contrary to what many people think, entrapment does not occur any time a police officer is involved in the commission of a crime. Instead, a law enforcement officer must have encouraged or persuaded you to commit a crime you otherwise would not have committed.
Our Drug Crime Lawyer in Ouachita Parish Can Provide the Defense You Need
If you have been charged with a drug offense, our Ouachita Parish drug crime lawyer at Whiddon Criminal Defense can help. Our seasoned attorney has a long track record of successfully helping people beat their charges, and we will put that experience to work for you, too. Call or text us today at 318-387-2776 or contact us online to schedule a free review of your case and to learn more.