Drug Possession Defenses
Whether you are facing a simple possession charge or one with more serious penalties, such as drug possession with intent to sell, you should know your rights. Those rights can be used to your advantage in fighting the criminal charges against you.
In New York, it is a crime to have controlled substances on your person or in your car, bag, or home. In addition, it is a crime to have dominion or control over the drugs.
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Fourth Amendment Violations
The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protects you from unlawful searches and seizures by law enforcement officers. Police need to have reasonable suspicion before they can stop you and search your vehicle or belongings.
If the police violate your rights by conducting a search, the evidence they collect may be inadmissible in court and the prosecutor will be forced to dismiss the charges against you.
In addition, the drugs seized could be invalid due to an illegal search and seizure procedure. For example, if the police seized drugs that were not in plain view, they could be ruled inadmissible as evidence.
The Drugs Aren’t Yours
Drugs are a variety of chemicals or substances that change the way your brain works, how you feel, and how you behave. They may intensify your senses, make you more alert, or decrease pain.
They are most often taken by people under the care of a doctor, but can be abused and have negative health consequences. Stimulants, such as Adderall, Concerta and Rohypnol, are commonly used in search of a high and to boost performance at work or school.
Police can often seize these drugs, and they are not always incinerated as evidence. In fact, if they do not destroy them correctly, they can cause serious environmental damage. This is especially true of narcotics such as cocaine and methamphetamine, which are highly toxic to human beings and wildlife. Medications that are not destroyed properly can also be detrimental to the environment, such as by polluting water treatment plants or septic systems. A skilled defense attorney can help you fight these charges and show that the drugs were not yours.
The Drugs Belong to Someone Else
If you have ever been the victim of a drug bust, you know that narcotics can be indistinguishable from the surrounding trash. They are a major environmental and public health problem, and can pose a serious threat to the local water supply and the wildlife it supports.
In the drug trade, there is a wide range of drugs from small quantities of cocaine to large amounts of heroin. Some are even referred to as “snake oils” because of their toxicity and addictive properties.
The best defense to an illegal drug possession charge is to challenge the prosecution’s case for possession and to establish that the drugs were not yours. You should not hesitate to contact a law firm experienced in drug crime defenses. Your lawyer may also be able to use his or her own resources to assist you. The most important point is that you will need to be a proactive partner with your lawyer.
The Police Violation of Your Rights
One of the most important issues in drug possession defenses is whether the police violated your rights during the search and seizure. This includes if they failed to obtain a warrant before conducting the search and/or didn’t read you your Miranda rights.
A skilled criminal defense attorney understands the relevant Fourth Amendment court decisions and routinely files motions to suppress narcotics evidence on the basis that the police did not have probable cause to conduct the search. These types of cases often result in dismissals without a trial.