Drug crime charges pose a deep impact on the future of anyone facing them, but knowing the potential defenses beforehand may help avoid or reduce the fallout.
As the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported in 2019, authorities made more than 1.5 million arrests regarding drug abuse, which includes illegal possession of any controlled substances. Each case must meet a certain threshold of evidence or proof for the charges to stick. A lack of evidence or a failure to follow protocol may render a case dismissable.
Personal defense of drug possession
One method of defense is that the defendant did not actually possess the drugs. This puts the onus on the prosecutors to prove that the drugs belonged to the defendant specifically. If they belong to someone else, so might the charges.
Protocol defense of drug possession
Once the state takes drugs as evidence, they do not vanish into thin air. If prosecutors lack the seized drugs, they may lack the evidence necessary to avoid a judge dismissing the case.
Another similar defense revolves around whether the drugs are drugs at all. Even if something looks like a drug, this defense asks for crime lab testing to testify that it is actually a controlled substance.
Police misconduct of drug possession
According to the Washington Post, investigators have arrested authorities for fabricating evidence by planting drugs during traffic stops. This is difficult to prove, as the sworn testimony of law enforcement may carry a lot of weight in a case. But proving it is not impossible.
Drug crime defenses are unique to each case and there are a lot of moving pieces to proving someone’s innocence. Despite that, people charged with these drug crimes deserve all due process when it comes to proving guilt.