Possessing drugs is a serious crime. According to Missouri drug laws, even possessing over 35 grams of marijuana can land you with a seven-year prison sentence. The criminal justice system is harsh against drug offenders.
However, if you face drug possession charges, it is not predetermined that the process will end with a conviction. You may be able to successfully defend against the charges.
Lack of possession
A common defense to possession charges is claiming the drugs are not yours. This strategy is often most effective when police discover the drugs in the presence of multiple people. Some examples are if police find drugs in a home with multiple tenants or a car with more than one passenger. In this situation, you may be able to say the drugs do not belong to you.
Violation of privacy
The U.S. Constitution guarantees you protection from an unreasonable search and seizure. If the police search your property and seize drugs without probable cause or seeing drugs within plain view, you may argue they violated your Fourth Amendment rights. Police cannot use drugs found through an unlawful search and seizure as evidence in a trial.
Entrapment happens when a police officer convinces someone to commit a crime he or she would otherwise not commit. While law enforcement officials can conduct sting operations, entrapment is an illegal abuse of power.
No presence of the drugs
To convict you of a drug charge, the police must provide the drugs in question. If the drugs go missing or do not exist, your charges may be dropped. Sometimes, the evidence does not exist at the time of the trial.
When police arrest you for drug possession, it can be frightening not knowing what to do. Remember your rights, chief among them to decline to answer questions from police until you have legal representation. Enlisting the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer should be your first step.