Possible Defenses Against Drug Possession Charges

Getting arrested and accused of drug possession can be a frightening experience. However, just because you face charges does not mean you will automatically be convicted. You are presumed innocent until proven guilty, and the prosecutor has to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to secure a conviction. You have the opportunity to defend yourself, and an experienced Indiana criminal defense lawyer can identify possible defense strategies in your case.

4th Amendment Violations

Police generally make drug-related arrests after they conduct a search of your home, person, or vehicle. Law enforcement officers cannot simply search these places anytime they want, as the 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution protects you from unreasonable search and seizure. Generally, police officers must have a warrant, consent, or another legal justification for a search. 

If an officer performs an illegal search and violates your 4th Amendment rights, the evidence recovered from the search should not be used against you in your drug possession case. Your attorney can seek to have that evidence suppressed, which can result in your charges being dropped completely in many situations. 

You Did Not Know About the Drugs

In order to be convicted of drug possession, the prosecutor must prove that you knew you possessed the drugs. For example, if someone else put drugs under the seat of your car, and you were unaware, you should not be convicted of drug possession. Often, prosecutors rely on circumstantial evidence to prove knowing possession, and a skilled defense lawyer can challenge this evidence to create doubt that you knew about the presence of the drugs. 

Forensic Lab Errors

A drug conviction requires the prosecutor to prove that the substance in question was, in fact, illegal drugs. Law enforcement agencies will send the substance to a forensic lab, where technicians will test the substance to positively identify it. Lab technicians can make many mistakes that can lead to unreliable test results, including:

  • Mislabeling the evidence
  • Not having records of the complete chain of custody of the evidence
  • Allowing the evidence to be contaminated
  • Not following the proper testing protocol
  • Using miscalibrated testing equipment
  • Not recording test results accurately or in a timely manner

When labs do not follow the necessary procedures to protect the evidence in a drug possession case, your attorney can challenge that evidence. If the prosecutor cannot prove that you possessed a controlled substance, you should be able to successfully defend against your charges. 

The above are only some examples of defenses that can be successful in a drug possession case. Our lawyers will closely examine the circumstances of your case and determine the best way to defend against your drug possession allegations.

Discuss Your Options with an Indiana Criminal Defense Lawyer

Drug possession charges can be extremely serious, and you do not want to risk a wrongful conviction. Contact the Indiana criminal defense attorneys at Arshad, Pangere & Warring if you were arrested. We have successfully fought against many types of charges, so please discuss how we can help today.

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