Possible Defenses to Criminal Drug Possession Charges
If you have been charged with criminal drug possession, you probably see very little light at the end of the tunnel. However, there may be more options at your disposal than you realize. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you formulate a successful defense. Many drug possession charges are not as clear-cut as they immediately seem. There may be legal options that could lessen your chances of ever needing to go to trial or could even result in your charges being dismissed.
The Burden of Proof is on the Prosecution
One of the core principles of the criminal justice system is that those accused of a crime are innocent until proven guilty. This means that it is up to the prosecution to prove that the defendant committed the crime they are charged with. The prosecution must show “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the defendant knowingly committed the crime in question in order to convict. The phrase “beyond a reasonable doubt” means that there exists no doubt as to the defendant’s guilt in the eyes of a jury or judge. In a drug case, prosecutors must prove that the defendant knew the illegal substance was an illicit drug and knew it was in his or her possession.
Constructive possession means having legal possession of something but not being in direct physical control of it. For example, say you live with a roommate. You both have a key to a locker in your home which is found to contain illegal drugs. In this circumstance, both you and your roommate could be charged with drug possession. Likewise, prosecutors can claim that drugs found in your vehicle were under your constructive possession because you own the vehicle.
You Must Have Known the Drugs Were in Your Possession
Building an effective defense against drug possession charges will depend entirely on the specific circumstances of the case. If you are facing drug possession charges, our firm is able to formulate a specific defense strategy based on your unique circumstances. For instance, we may be able to prove that drugs found in your possession did not belong to you or that you were unaware of their existence. Because the burden of proof is on the state, creating a reasonable doubt that you knowingly possessed the illicit material is sufficient for an acquittal.
Evidence Found Through an Illegal Search and Seizure Can Lead to Dropped Charges
A particularly important part of any drug possession charge is the means by which the evidence against you was discovered by authorities. If the drugs you are being charged with possessing were found via an unlawful search, the evidence might be thrown out and your charges dropped.
If you or a loved one are facing drug possession charges, contact an experienced Will County criminal defense lawyer today. Call 815-740-4025 to schedule a free consultation.