Many people who are facing drug-related charges are reluctant to consult an attorney even though they may be facing severe penalties. Often, they simply plead guilty, feeling as though there’s no reason to try defending against the charges. In fact, drug charges aren’t as cut and dried as people assume. Consulting a Richboro criminal lawyer may help you discover a strategy that can help you improve your chances for a favorable outcome in your case.
Your Search May Not Have Been Legal
Most people are unfamiliar with how search and seizure laws affect automobile searches. Essentially, drugs that are within the officer’s normal field of vision during a traffic stop can be legally seized. However, suppose you deny the officer’s request to search the trunk and he forces the trunk open anyway. Any illegal drugs he finds in the trunk can’t be used as evidence. If you’re charged with drug possession in this type of scenario, the charges will likely be dropped at trial.
Proving the Drugs Belonged to You
Sometimes, a skilled attorney can defeat drug charges by challenging the prosecutor to prove the drugs belonged to the defendant. While it has become something of a joke for defendants to claim the drugs didn’t belong to them, the burden of proof is still on the prosecutor. If your Richboro criminal lawyer asserts that the drugs found in your car didn’t belong to you, it will be up to the prosecutor to prove that they really were your drugs.
Problems with the Drugs
Another way that hiring an attorney can help you is in determining whether or not the substance really was illegal. Many different substances look like cocaine, marijuana, or other illegal drugs, but, in fact, may be perfectly legal compounds. Alternatively, the prosecutor will have to produce those same drugs in court. When evidence is collected, such as in a drug seizure, it goes through an established chain of custody. This means there’s documentation to show exactly who had the evidence and during which time frame they had possession of it. If the chain of custody is broken, or if the evidence turns up missing, your lawyer should arrange for the charges to be dismissed.
Confronting Falsified Charges
While abuses of power are rare, they do occur. This may involve planting drugs on you to fabricate charges against you, but, more often, it involves entrapment. When an undercover officer compels you to commit a crime you wouldn’t otherwise have committed, he could be charged with entrapment. Whether through planting evidence on you, or through entrapment, the police officer is creating false charges against you. A criminal defense lawyer will know how to help you out of this type of situation.
Even if a Richboro criminal lawyer can’t get the charges dismissed, he may be able to help you obtain a more favorable outcome. By consulting the law offices of Richard Fink, you can learn more about the possibilities of an acquittal, dismissal, or reduced sentence in your case.