5 Basic Drug Crime Defenses

Posted on: 30 November 2021

Drug crimes lawyers have several options for presenting defenses on behalf of their clients. If you're considering hiring an attorney to put up a defense, it's a good idea to understand the basic arguments one will usually make. You will often see drug crimes attorneys make these 5 defenses.

The Alleged Drugs Weren't Drugs

A defendant's argument is simple in this scenario. The cops flatly got it wrong. Maybe an overzealous officer couldn't tell weed from oregano or powder milk from cocaine. The state must prove its case. If the cops' evidence doesn't pass must, drug crimes lawyers will ask the judge to dismiss the charges.

Legal Possession

Another argument is that a defendant was in possession of drugs, but the drugs were legal. For example, a person might have a prescription. Similarly, the police might have confused a legal drug with an illegal one. Licensed researchers have the right to possess drugs for testing, too.

Not Illegal

This is a slightly more nuanced argument. However, there is also an argument to be made based on whether a drug is a scheduled controlled substance. Sometimes, a substance isn't illegal until the government classifies it as such. Even with some illicit party drugs, they can be so new they're not technically illegal. It's a complicated defense, but it may be worth proposing.

Unjustified Arrest

Many drug cases emanate from lesser allegations. You might have been driving at night when a cop pulled you over for allegedly speeding, for example. The police officer then used that justification to assess whether you were intoxicated. From there, the cop charged you.

Suppose the police officer was wrong about the fact you were speeding. If you can prove the speeding claim was wrong, you might be able to convince a judge to dismiss the accompanying drug case.

In American law, the chain of events leading to an arrest has to be clean. If a cop fudged something along the way, drug crime attorneys will want to challenge that in court. Judges generally pressure cops to do their jobs well, and they can punish them by tossing out their cases.

Flawed Chain of Custody

When it comes to drugs, police evidence tends to either involve seizing alleged drugs or performing blood tests on defendants. In either scenario, the police have a duty to prove no one could have messed with the evidence. If a lab tech didn't inventory a sample properly, for example, a lawyer will want the court to consider the evidence tainted. For more information, speak with a drug crimes attorney.