One of the most common crimes in New York is drug possession. It isn’t just the local drug dealer on the corner who is being charged with criminal drug possession; people from all walks of life can be found guilty of possessing illegal substances. Drug offenses like possession can be extremely serious and forever alter someone’s future if they are found guilty. Even if you are found with drugs that are categorized as a misdemeanor possession, it is possible to face jail time.
If you are charged with any type of , it is imperative that you hire an attorney who deals specifically with defending drug offense cases. Someone with experience is more likely to build you a defense that can either lessen the consequences of being found guilty, or get your charges dismissed altogether. There are many reasons that your case might not even have to go to trial if law enforcement didn’t handle things correctly or if procedures weren’t followed.
Drug charges can often be dismissed due to “technicalities” in the process of search and seizure. There are specific laws in place about when law enforcement can and cannot legally enter your home or premises, and under what circumstances. For someone to enter into a house or property, they usually have to obtain a “warrant.”
What is a warrant?
A warrant is a legal document that has to be court-signed that permits the police to enter onto someone else’s property with the intent to search for illegal substances or criminal activity. The warrant isn’t a free-for-all, but must specifically outline which parts of the premises the police officers can search. A clear definition must be present in the warrant to prohibit law enforcement from rummaging through everything so that it doesn’t give them general permission to explore. If the warrant is not explicitly outlined, or the law officers went outside of the scope of the warrant, then anything that they do uncover is not admissible in court.
There are times when law enforcement may enter a premises without a warrant without violating a person’s Constitutional . If they suspect that someone is in danger or that the activity going on poses a public risk, they might be able to prove that they had “just cause” to enter and search and seize illegal drugs. But to prove that they had a significant cause can sometimes be where the biggest defense will lie. It’s a very gray area, so if your criminal attorney can poke holes in their theory of having just cause, then anything that the police were able to find as a result of their search will not be admissible in court. If they don’t have physical evidence, then it’s likely that the case against you will be dismissed.
There are different types of possession charges
“Physical possession” is when a person is found to have illegal drugs on their person and to be in control of them. It’s much harder to defend against; if you are physically in possession of drugs, then law enforcement must prove that you were aware that you had them. It might also be the case that you are charged with physical possession if you had control over the area where the drugs were found, like if they were found at your home. It is also possible for multiple people to be charged with possession if contraband is found within a home, whether they knew about the drugs or not.
In some cases your lawyer might be able to prove that even if you were in possession of the drugs, you were unaware that they were present. For instance, if you were driving someone else’s car and drugs were in the glove compartment, then your lawyer might be able to prove that you didn’t know they were there.
The key to beating a drug offense charge is hiring a who knows how to build the best defense to protect you. Since the consequences of drug charges can be severe and life-altering, make sure that you hire a professional who knows how to ensure that the charges won’t stick.