If you are arrested for having drugs in your possession, you could be facing serious consequences. Drug possession is legally known as possession of a controlled substance. The exact penalties will vary depending on the type and amount of the drug you are accused of possessing. There are many different defenses to a charge of the possession of a controlled substance, depending on the circumstances. Your case may involve the use of one or more such strategies, and an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you decide the best way to proceed.
Challenging the Stop
Often drugs are found when you have been stopped by a police officer, either in your car or while you are on foot. There are specific rules that police officers must follow before they are allowed to search you or your property.
One way to defend against drug possession charges is to challenge the legality of the search or the stop in court. If either the stop or the search was performed improperly, then the court will likely not allow any evidence obtained from an unlawful stop or search to be used in court. Without the drugs, the prosecutor may have no case.
Questioning Lab Test Results
Before drugs are submitted into evidence in court, they are tested at a crime lab. Even though there are professional policies and protocols that govern how the drugs should be handled by the police and the crime lab, these policies are not always followed. If the case is serious enough, the lab results can be challenged in court. You may be able to prove that the chain of custody of the drugs was broken, or that the lab results are unreliable, and in doing so, possibly avoiding a conviction,
Did They Belong to Someone Else?
One of the most common defenses to drug possession is that the drugs belonged to someone else. This defense is used so often, that it can be difficult to get a judge or jury to believe it without some additional proof. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can help you find the best defense for your individual circumstances.
A Solid Defense Starts With You
Your criminal defense does not start when you are arrested or when you hire a lawyer. Your criminal defense starts when you encounter the police. If you exercise your right to remain silent and ask for a lawyer before answering any questions, you may be able to avoid giving law enforcement the information the prosecutor will later use to convict you.
If you have been charged with possession of a controlled substance, you need to speak with an experienced San Jose criminal defense lawyer right away. Do not talk to anyone about your case until you have spoken with a lawyer. Call the Law Offices of Thomas Nicholas Cvietkovich today at (408) 898-9770 to schedule a consultation.