All drug charges are serious charges. Many are considered felonies, which can mean significant time in jail, large fines, plus a criminal record which can affect your ability to get a job or find a place to live. Even misdemeanors can result in jail sentences and other damaging consequences. Strict laws apply to possession charges in addition to cultivation, distribution, and other charges.
There are often defenses in drug possession cases that could help you obtain an acquittal, the opportunity to have the evidence of the drugs suppressed, or a plea bargain to lesser criminal charges. Defenses vary depending on the facts of your case.
How a Hartford criminal defense lawyer fights drug possession offenses
Some of the regular defenses experienced Hartford drug possession lawyers might investigate for a case include:
- Illegal search and seizure. The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that the police can’t search you unless the search is reasonable or if they obtain a warrant based on probable cause. In many drug cases, however, the police don’t take the time to obtain a warrant. They can’t search you just because of the way you look. They generally can’t search in your home without a warrant. If the police violated your constitutional rights, the evidence of drugs can be suppressed.
- The items aren’t drugs. The prosecution does need to have whatever items they seized evaluated by a professional laboratory or technical professional. If the items don’t contain controlled substances, then the case should be dismissed.
- A break in the chain of custody. Authorities need to account for the drugs every step of the way – from the time they seize them to the time they introduce the drugs in court. If the prosecution can’t show the drugs were in their control throughout this time frame, the evidence can be dismissed because of the possibility the drugs were tampered with.
- The drugs belong to someone else. This issue can often be complicated. If you drive someone’s car and they had drugs in the trunk of the car, you can argue the drugs belong to the person who owned the car. If you and a friend are in the same room and both can reach the drugs, the issue becomes more complicated.
- The police can’t place the drugs in your possession through any sort of trickery such as questioning you for speeding and then placing the drugs in your pocket.
- A justifiable reason. Connecticut does authorize the possession of medical marijuana if you have a medical recommendation from a physician and apply for a medical marijuana ID card. Possession of prescription drugs authorized by your doctor should also be legal. Otherwise, you could face a small fine, even for a first-time offense.
There is hope. There are often defenses that can be used in drug possession cases that can help you obtain an acquittal, a dismissal of the charges, or a plea to reduced charges. At Barry, Barall, & Spinella, LLC, we’re not afraid to try your case before a jury of your peers. We understand the issues that concern judges. We have earned the respect of prosecutors and other defense lawyers in Connecticut.