You’ve worked hard to build the life you have. You’ve earned your education and put in the time and effort necessary to rise through the ranks of your employer. As a result you’ve been able to give your family the life they deserve. But now all of that is being threatened by allegations that you’ve committed a drug offense.
We know that being confronted with drug charges is an overwhelming experience. Your anxiety about the future is probably high, and you’re likely concerned about the criminal defense options that are available to you, especially if the prosecution’s evidence against you seems insurmountable. Despite the strength of the prosecution’s case, though, you might have persuasive defense options available to you. Perhaps the best amongst them is evidence suppression.
Ways to suppress evidence
Suppressing evidence is the process of ensuring that the other side can’t submit certain pieces of evidence against you. There are several ways that you can try to suppress evidence, and you should carefully consider each of them to determine if you can utilize any of them before proceeding with your case.
- Illegal traffic stop: A lot of drug charges are brought following a traffic stop and a subsequent search of a vehicle or an occupant of that vehicle. However, the law recognizes that an individual’s right against unreasonable search and seizure is infringed when the initial traffic stop in these instances isn’t justified. Therefore, narcotics found in your possession after a traffic stop may be deemed tainted and thereby inadmissible against you if you can show that the initial stop was illegal to begin with. So, consider deposing the officers who stopped you and carefully review their police report for indications of an illegal stop.
- Other illegal searches: Drug charges might be brought against you following some other type of search. Law enforcement might search your home or your person, but you need to ask whether they had a warrant allowing them to do so and, if not, did the circumstances fall into an exception to the warrant requirement. This means that you need to know what those exceptions are, the case law that speaks to those exceptions, and how the law applies to your case.
- Chain of custody errors: Evidence has to be collected in a certain way to ensure that it isn’t compromised or tainted. Far too often, though, police officers and lab technicians fail to adhere to those protocols. In these circumstances, you might be able to raise doubt as to the reliability of the evidence, which might include chemical test results of suspected narcotics. In order to challenge chain of custody, though, you need to know what the chain of custody looks like. An attorney who is experienced in this area of the law will know what that process entails and where to look for mistakes to exploit.
Don’t let prosecutors push you around
Many prosecutors use the evidence in hand to try to pressure defendants into a plea agreement. But don’t be so quick to be intimidated by the way that the prosecution is spinning its case and throw away everything that you’ve worked so hard to build.
Instead, carefully analyze the facts of your case in light of the law to see if you can derail the prosecution’s arguments and raise doubt as to your guilt. That might sound challenging, but you don’t have to stand up to prosecutors on your own. Criminal defense attorneys who know the ins and outs of the law can help you craft the legal arguments needed to position you for the best possible chances of success, whether that means securing an acquittal at trial or negotiating a favorable plea deal.