Drug-related offenses are some of the most common types of crimes in Pennsylvania. They can affect anyone, from a stay-at-home mother with an addiction to opioids to a teenager accused of selling marijuana to friends.
No matter who you are or what charges you may be facing, you must remember that you have the right to defend yourself against criminal charges. In this post, we will discuss a few common defenses to drug crimes.
Improper searches or procedures
Every person has rights and legal protections. As such, law enforcement agents must be sure their procedures for conducting searches, collecting and examining evidence, and questioning suspects are in line with the law. If they are not, the courts may drop charges.
For instance, prosecutors in another state are dropping nearly 1,170 drug cases after a lab technician associated with the cases reportedly falsified at least one record. Because the lab destroyed the evidence in those cases before it could retest them, the courts will dismiss those cases.
The drugs are someone else's
If police find drugs in your car, your dorm room or your apartment, you might argue that they are not yours and that you did not know they were there. The drugs could belong to a party guest, roommate or friend of your parent's, for instance. If prosecutors cannot prove the drugs are yours, then you may be able to avoid conviction.
The substance is not illegal
There are cases when police believe a person is in possession of an illegal substance, like cocaine. However, further testing could prove that it is something else.
It is also possible that a person has the required prescription for a drug. For instance, a person could have a valid prescription for an opioid; if you are a registered patient in Pennsylvania, you can legally possess medical marijuana.
Discussing your defense with an attorney
These are just a few common defenses to a drug crime; there are many others that may be appropriate for your case. To identify and build a defense specific to your situation, it can be critical to consult a criminal defense attorney right away.