3 Common Drug Possession Defenses

3 Common Drug Possession Defenses

If you were recently arrested for drug possession, you still have a chance to fight the charge against you by hiring a criminal defense attorney who has experience handling drug crimes. Remember, the prosecution must prove – beyond a reasonable doubt – that you were in possession of illegal drugs. 

Your lawyer can thoroughly review your case and determine whether the arresting officer(s) violated your constitutional rights or if there are any weaknesses in the prosecutor’s argument against you. The main goal is to suppress any evidence prior to the start of trial.  

If the evidence is not admissible, then the entire case will likely be thrown out. By contrast, if the evidence is not suppressed, then your attorney will attempt to either obtain an acquittal or reach a plea agreement to ensure you avoid harsh criminal penalties, such as jail time. 

The following are the three most common legal defenses to drug possession: 

  1. Unwitting possession – This defense asserts you were unaware you were in possession of illegal drugs, although they were found on your person. For example, you ask a friend if they can lend you their car for the day, and you had no idea there are drugs inside the vehicle, then you cannot be held responsible for actual drug possession if the police pull you over and find them. When it comes to constructive possession, such as finding drugs in a shared living space, you may also claim unwitting possession if the drugs do not belong to you. 

  1. Lack of possession – Another defense to constructive drug possession is “lack of possession,” especially when the “dominion and control” element (in which a person has an ability or intent to control the substance) is difficult for the prosecutor to prove. For instance, if you were pulled over in a car with several people in it and the police find drugs in the vehicle, it would be difficult to accuse only one person of drug possession. 

  1. Unlawful search and seizure – Law enforcement officials must follow certain rules – such as obtaining reasonable suspicion to make a traffic stop or having probable cause or a warrant to arrest a suspect – to avoid violating a person’s constitutional rights, which means conducting lawful search and seizure procedures. Unless the drugs were found in plain view (e.g., on the passenger seat or on the dashboard), if the police performed a search without your consent, without establishing probable cause, or without a warrant, then any evidence gathered will be suppressed. 

At the Law Office of Armando J. Hernandez, P.A., we have more than 17 years of experience handling a wide range of drug crimes. Attorney Hernandez is a former prosecutor who understands how the court will approach your case and build an effective and personalized defense strategy to help you either avoid conviction or serving serious penalties, like jail time. 

Contact the firm today at (305) 400-0074 for a free initial consultation to discuss your case with a Miami drug crime defense attorney. 

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