Legal Guide

Is It Possible to Beat a Drug Possession Charge?

If you've been arrested for drug possession, it may feel like your life is practically over. But the truth is, simple drug possession is a relatively minor crime, and there are circumstances that might allow you to beat the drug possession charge you face.

What can you do to maximize your chances of walking away?

Hire the Best Attorney You Can Afford

An attorney specializing in drug crimes can instantly improve your odds of walking away – or getting a lighter sentence. Your lawyer is going to be your legal representative in this matter. They're going to help you better understand the charges against you, they'll analyze the evidence against you, and they'll provide you with insights and advice so you can act in your best interests. Your lawyer will also likely be with you during police questioning and will work with you consistently throughout your case.

This is important for several reasons. Your lawyer will make sure that you understand everything properly and aren't being lied to or manipulated. They can make sure you're treated fairly and in accordance with the law by law enforcement officers. And of course, they can help you orchestrate and execute a strategy designed to lessen the charges against you or prove your innocence.

Talking to a lawyer should be your highest priority after learning that you're facing a drug possession charge. If you don't yet have a lawyer, start calling criminal defense lawyers in your area.

Keep Quiet and Compliant

You probably know that you have the right to remain silent when you’re under arrest. But it’s important to exercise that right. Too often, people facing drug possession charges seal their fates or find themselves facing additional charges simply because they answered police officer questions a bit too openly – or because they unwittingly admitted their guilt of another crime.

If you want to maximize your chances of success, it's better to simply remain silent. You may be legally required to give certain pieces of personally identifying information, such as your name and address, but beyond that, keep your lips sealed until your lawyer tells you otherwise.

Similarly, it's important to remain mostly compliant throughout this process. If the police arrest you, go peacefully. If the police request you to stand up or sit down, do so. Try to remain polite and calm throughout all your encounters with law enforcement officers – even if you're being mistreated. Resisting arrest or otherwise interfering with police officers could lead you to additional charges. Don't try to weasel out or even defend yourself until you have a professional at your side.

Prepare a Defense

After that, you can start preparing a defense. There are many legitimate ways to defend against a drug possession charge, including:

  •       A valid prescription. If you have a valid, current prescription for the substance in question, the charges should be dropped against you. In other words, if you can prove that your drug possession is legal, you shouldn't face any consequences.
  •       Unlawful search and seizure. You might be able to prove that police officers only found drugs after an unlawful search or seizure. Police officers are required to act according to specifically outlined principles, and if they violate those principles, anything they find could be rendered legally irrelevant.
  •       Lack of intent to sell. Depending on the charges you face, you might be able to demonstrate lack of intent to sell. This can help you reduce your charges and reduce the severity of the consequences you face.
  •       No technical possession. You might also be able to prove that you didn't technically control or possess the drugs when they were found. For example, you might be driving in the car with a friend who stores their drugs under your seat without your knowledge.
  •       Temporary possession. You may also be able to argue that your possession was only temporary. For example, someone may have given you these drugs and you may have had the intention of getting rid of them, rather than using them or selling them.
  •       Operating under duress. In many cases, if you can prove that you committed a crime under duress, the charges could be lessened or even thrown out. For example, if a drug dealer threatened to kill or harm you if you didn't transport drugs from one area of the city to the other, you might be able to reduce your charges.
  •       Technical errors and police misconduct. You may also be able to mount a defense on the basis of technical errors and police misconduct. Law enforcement officers are responsible for following many laws and procedures, from the moment they search you until a verdict in your trial is reached. If they mistreat you, if they mishandle evidence, or if they break specific rules, it may be enough to get your charges thrown out. Your lawyer can help you identify possible rule or law violations here.

The Bottom Line

Depending on the circumstances of your drug possession and the types of charges you're facing, there's at least some possibility that you could beat these charges or at least have the charges reduced. 

If you want the best possible outcome, you need to remain quiet and compliant when working with the police and hire a drug crime attorney as soon as possible.

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