Defenses to drug possession

A drug charge can come suddenly and unexpectedly. For many Massachusetts residents, they may be the most serious charges they will ever face. Drug charges carry with them the potential for serious penalties, such as hefty fines and, in the worst-case scenarios, lengthy prison terms. Not only that, but a person's reputation can be irreparably damaged, straining family relationships and making it difficult to secure future employment. Because of this, many desire to do everything in their power to fight such charges in order to avoid these penalties.

There are a number of ways to fight a drug possession charge. One common defense is for the defendant to claim that the drugs did not belong to him or her. Sometimes, it is possible to prove that the drugs belonged to someone else on the scene, and not the person being charged with the drug crime. Plus, it may be possible to prove that what looked like drugs were not, in fact, an illicit substance. This can be done by sending the evidence to a crime lab for analysis.

Everyone is guaranteed the right to due process of law, which includes lawful search and seizure procedures. This is a Fourth Amendment right. It is also a common defense against drug possession charges. Charges are typically dismissed when a person's Fourth Amendment rights were violated, as is the case when an officer unlawfully searches for drugs that were not in plain sight.

Challenging the stated facts and poking holes in a prosecutor's case can help defendants potentially get their charges dismissed. Criminal defense attorneys can help defendants strengthen their cases by scrutinizing evidence and challenging the charges in other ways.

Source: FindLaw, "Drug Possession Defenses," Accessed on April 10, 2017

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