Interviewer: Are there any other factors regarding illegal drugs or prescription drugs that we haven’t covered that we should discuss?
Your Fourth Amendment Rights
Court: The main issue about drug possession charges in particular is that obviously the police officers have to discover the drugs. And so that brings into play a number of rights under the Fourth Amendment. Many times, there are grounds for attacking those sorts of charges that would result in the charges being dismissed completely, because the evidence, in this case being the drugs, wasn’t discovered through a reasonable search.
Was the Evidence Discovered through a Reasonable Search?
Quite often, the legal battleground revolves around whether or not those drugs were discovered legally, in possession charges in particular. That is a common issue for any crime, including DUIs, but with drug possession, they actually have to have that physical evidence. It’s really important.
Did the Police Follow Proper Procedures?
Just factually, there are many instances when police officers don’t follow the proper procedures. They don’t have a warrant. They don’t have an exception to needing a warrant. And nevertheless, they discover the drugs, and the charge is going to be brought up, whether or not the police officer did everything correctly, just because that’s the way that it works.
These Are Issues that Your Attorney Will Use to Your Advantage
Interviewer: Then it is the job of a good attorney to catch that and try to exploit it in the defense.
Court: Yes, that is true. When I have somebody come in and talk to me about a drug possession charge, I’m thinking about the quantity of the drugs and the circumstances of the use, of course. But I’m also immediately thinking about whether the officer had probable cause to search. I am thinking about whether he or she had a reasonable suspicion to stop you in the first place. And if you can win on one of those issues, it’s essentially a homerun, because they just going to have to drop the case altogether.