Drug crimes include a number of offenses, including: possession of drugs
for personal use or sale, possession of drug paraphernalia, cultivation
of marijuana, transporting drugs for sale, being under the influence of
drugs, and more. The sentences for drug crimes can vary wildly, from court-mandated
rehabilitation to life in prison, depending on the severity of the offense.
There are ways to fight drug-related charges, however. The following strategies
are common defenses for drug-related cases.
Fighting Drug Charges
The 4th Amendment
The 4th Amendment is a constitutional protection from unlawful search and seizure
of your belongings, including your home and vehicle. You have the right
to refuse your consent to a search of your person, vehicle, or residence.
With probable cause, the officer may still be able to search you or your
vehicle, but withholding consent protects you from incriminating yourself.
Additionally, you will want to exercise your right to remain silent as well.
If you have refused to consent to a search, your attorney may argue that
any evidence seized during a search was unlawfully obtained, and cannot
be used in a case against you. The laws surrounding search and seizure
are complex, however, and a skilled criminal lawyer can help interpret them.
Ownership of the Drugs
An experienced attorney may also require prosecutors to prove that the
evidence found actually belonged to the accused, rather than another driver
of the vehicle or a passenger in the car.
Connecticut legalized medical marijuana in 2012. It may be enough to clear
the charges if you are able to show clear, convincing medical need. Connecticut
requires medical marijuana users to register with the state, so it is
worth seeking out a proper diagnosis and recommendation from your physician.
This defense is
not a possible defense in federal court, as federal law does not allow any
type of legal marijuana use.
Entrapment occurs when law enforcement officials set up a suspect to commit
a crime they might not have otherwise committed, such as pressuring them
to pass drugs to a third party. If the state provided the drugs used for
the operation, it is frequently considered entrapment.
Producing the Evidence
Often, with drug-related evidence, it will go through several transfers
before ending up in an evidence locker. Your lawyer may push the prosecuting
attorney to produce the evidence in court. If the drugs are lost or misplaced
and are unable to be produced, the case might be thrown out.
Crime Lab Analysis
Your lawyer may ask that the prosecutor have the evidence subjected to
a thorough analysis by a crime lab to prove that it is actually what the
prosecutor says it is. This can cause delays as the analysis is processed,
and will require the lab analyst to come to court to testify.
The above are some common defenses for fighting a drug-related charge.
Your specific case may work better with one or another of these strategies.
A criminal defense lawyer would be able to determine the best arguments
for your defense.
If you have been arrested for a drug crime, our Connecticut criminal defense
attorneys at Tomeo Sills, LLC are here to help. Contact us today for a
free case evaluation, and get started building your defense.