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Yes, you should always fight drug possession charges

No matter what the substance or substances involved, it is crucial to fight against any drug possession charges, no matter how severe or minor the charges may seem. Drug charges regularly receive strong sentencing, which may far outpace the severity of any crime allegedly committed. In addition to legal consequences handed down by a judge, a conviction may affect many areas of a defendant's life, even well after paying his or her debt of fines or jail time.

If you do have drug charges currently, you should build a strong defense immediately. You may find it difficult to secure work after a conviction, or may not qualify to rent an apartment or home with a drug conviction. Such a conviction may also affect your ability to drive in some cases, further complicating how you provide a living for yourself or family. It is alway worth it to fight drug charges, even if you do not see immediately how to do so.

Can you object to the conduct of the officers who collected the evidence?

If the officer who collected the evidence against you did not follow proper procedural protocol, then it is likely that he or she violated your rights in the course of the search, seizure and arrest.

This may occur if an officer searches your property without a reason to do so, without a warrant granting permission for the search, or without your verbal permission to conduct a search. For instance, an officer may pull you over for no particular reason and then inform you that he or she is going to search your vehicle. Unless the officer can identify clearly visible justifications to search a vehicle, such as drug paraphernalia on a back seat, or possibly a strong smell of marijuana, then the officer must present a warrant or obtain your permission to conduct the search.

An officer may also allege that he or she found drugs in your possession because the drugs were allegedly in your home. Unless you live alone and rarely have guests, it is difficult to say with certainty that the drugs belong to you and not someone else.

Challenging the evidence itself

It is also possible that officers misidentified the substance that is the basis of your charges. You may consider demanding that the evidence undergo laboratory testing to clearly determine its exact composition. If the testing determines that the substance does not match the charges against you, the case has much less momentum.

It is also possible that the prosecution and police may misplace the evidence and cannot produce it for testing. In this case, you may push to dismiss the charges because of the lack of evidence.

Your circumstances deserve a personalized defense that takes into account all of the specific factors of your experience. Begin building your defense today using all the legal resources you have, to protect yourself and your future from potentially unfair, politically driven sentencing.

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Suffolk County Defenders Association New York State Defenders Association | Founded 1967 New York State Bar Association Suffolk County Bar Association | NY 1908

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