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Drug possession charges and common defense options

On Behalf of | Mar 12, 2024 | Drug Charges |

Whether it was a traffic stop or another incident that subjected you to a search, it is important to understand you rights every step of the way. If the search resulted in a drug charge, you may immediately feel like you are stuck and must face the consequences associated with the alleged crime. But this is not the case because a defense is a viable option for you to take.

What is a drug possession charge?

In simple terms, a drug possession charge involves the criminal possession of a controlled substance. This possession must be knowingly; therefore, the accused must have knowingly obtained, possessed or used a controlled substance. Additionally, possession can be either actual or constructive.

An actual possession refers to the controlled substance being on you person. In other words, you have control of it. For constructive possession, you need to have access to the controlled substance although it is not on your person. This in turn results in constructive control of the drug.

Defense options

While there is an array of defense options, the five most used defenses for drug possession will be briefly discussed. The first is an unlawful search and seizure. This means that the legal parameters for a lawful search and seizure did not occur, resulting in a violation of your Fourth Amendment right.

A second option is to assert that the drugs belonged to someone else. This means that you did not have actual or constructive possession of the drug, and essentially did not have knowledge of the drug in the location it was found.

Another defense option is to claim that the seized substance is not an illicit drug. Because some substances can look like a controlled substance, a crime lab analysis might be necessary to establish whether it is a controlled substance or not. A fourth defense option is a chain of custody problem. This means that there is a question of whether the evidence presented is in fact what was taken during the search due to a break in the chain of custody or improper documentation.

One more common defense option is entrapment. This implies that law enforcement or informants induced the accused to commit a crime that they would not have committed had it not been for their conduct and enticement.

No matter the defense option you take, it is important to understand what is available to you in your matter.