If you are arrested for a drug crime, it is important that you take your situation seriously. Thanks to things like mandatory minimum sentences and aggressive prosecution efforts, you could very well be facing a more severe punishment than you expect.
This is why it is crucial that you secure legal representation to defend yourself against charges. This process can be far more complicated than you think, as there are many elements of criminal charges that can and should be scrutinized.
For instance, below are five different elements of a drug arrest or allegation that, when disputed, could influence the charges against you and the sentence you could be facing.
It was not an illegal drug: Sometimes police believe you have an illicit substance, but it is actually not illegal or you have a legitimate prescription for it.
It was improperly seized by police: There are many steps to an arrest, including the search. If this is not conducted properly, any evidence gathered as a result of an unlawful search or seizure can be dismissed.
You didn’t have control over the drug: If you were not holding the drug, did not know where it was and did not control the premises, drug charges may not hold.
You didn’t know you were in possession of an illegal drug: You could argue that you were asked to hold something or if you purchased something that you did not know was illegal.
There was no intent to distribute or sell the drug: Intent to sell drugs can lead to escalated charges and penalties. Disputing this intent could lead to dropped charges and reduced consequences.
Challenging these elements of a drug possession, manufacturing or trafficking charge can be crucial in protecting your rights and minimizing your exposure to the harsh penalties of a conviction. However, without legal knowledge and resources, this can prove to be incredibly difficult. For this reason, you would be wise to consult a criminal defense attorney sooner, rather than later.