Defenses to Drug Possession Charges
Being charged with drug possession is very scary, and you will likely become worried about what the future may hold for you. Fortunately, there are many defenses to drug possession charges, and an Orlando criminal defense lawyer can advise on the one that is right for you. Some of the most commonly used defenses to drug possession charges are outlined below.
Illegal Search and Seizure
The Fourth Amendment protects you from unreasonable searches made by law enforcement. It is not uncommon for police to hope that individuals are not aware of their rights, or when an illegal search is conducted and so, they do not always follow proper procedure. Before conducting a search, law enforcement must have probable cause that they will uncover evidence that you committed a crime.
Police officers must also obtain a search warrant before they can conduct a search. If they cannot get a search warrant, they must justify the necessity of the search and show that there was not time to obtain a warrant. This most often happens when police pull someone over for a suspected DUI.
When police did not follow the law when conducting a search, any evidence obtained as a result can be thrown out of court. This means it cannot be used against you, which often makes it very difficult for the prosecution’s case.
Actual vs. Constructive Possession
There are two different types of possession in drug cases. The first is actual possession, which occurs when law enforcement actually discovers the evidence on your person. The second type of possession is constructive. Constructive possession occurs when law enforcement has reason to believe you have control over the drugs, or know of their location.
Constructive possession is much harder for the prosecution to prove than actual possession. Simply being close to the drugs is not enough proof. For example, if police found drugs under the passenger seat of your car, where your friend was just sitting, they may charge you. However, they must prove that you knew the drugs were there, even though you technically had control over them. A defense lawyer may argue the drugs were your friend’s, and that you did not even know they were there.
In limited situations, medical marijuana is legal in Florida. Qualifying conditions include epilepsy, cancer, Crohn’s disease, and post-traumatic stress disorder. If you can prove that you were legally in possession of drugs, it can provide a defense in your case. Still, you may face other charges, such as if you were driving at the time and the police officer thought you were under the influence.
Our Drug Possession Lawyer in Orlando Can Help You Fight the Charges
If you have been charged with drug possession, it is important to seek legal advice right away. At O’Mara Law Group, our skilled Orlando drug charges lawyer will review the facts of your case to determine the right defense strategy to use and give you the best chance of beating your charges. Call us today at 407-634-6604 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation.