Drug possession charges can result in serious consequences for the accused and their family, which is why it is so beneficial to develop defense strategies immediately after being charged, especially when one faces drug charges. The defense strategy used will vary depending on the facts of one’s case, but there are a few defense strategies that are used time and time again.
One of the most common drug possession defenses is to establish that the officers who found the drug evidence performed an unlawful search and seizure prior to arrest. Generally, if an officer sees drugs in plain view (e.g., on the backseat of the accused’s vehicle), they can perform a search of the vehicle and admit the drugs found into evidence to be used against one in court.
However, searching a vehicle during a routine traffic stop without probable cause to do so, or prying open a trunk without the owner’s consent, could be a violation of the driver’s Fourth Amendment rights. As a result, any evidence obtained during an illegal search cannot be used against the accused in court.
Another common defense is that the drugs did not belong to the accused. For instance, if one were borrowing someone else’s vehicle and unaware that the drugs were under the seat, the accused could argue that they did not have the intent required to be convicted of drug possession. Accordingly, in many cases, a successful defense strategy leads to reduced charges or a complete dismissal of the charges faced by the defendant.