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Challenging a Drug-possession Charge

If a person is charged with possession of illegal drugs, their attorney may seek to challenge the prosecution on one or more grounds: refuting the stated facts, testimony, or evidence; zeroing in on procedural missteps; or pressuring the prosecution to provide all necessary evidence at trial.

A defendant has the right to due process of law, including search-and-seizure protocol that is carried out properly. For example, if drugs were spotted "in plain view" in their car, they can be used as evidence. If a trunk was pried open without the defendant's consent, that's another matter altogether.

A defendant can also claim they hadn't the foggiest idea that the drugs were in their residence or vehicle, and that the drugs must be someone else's. A skilled defense attorney can put the squeeze on the prosecution to prove "ownership".

An attorney will force prosecutors to produce, in court, the actual drugs involved in the case. This isn't always a lock, as drugs are often transferred a number of times before reaching the evidence locker. If they can't be produced, the case may be dismissed. The prosecution must also be able to prove that the seized drug have been checked out identity wise, which means crime-lab analysis and analyst testimony.

Other less common defenses include entrapment which is extremely difficult to prove; planting of drugs - equally problematic; and medical marijuana use, which may become more prominent as more states legalize it.


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