The State can try to prove possession of drugs in two ways. “Actual possession” normally occurs when the drugs are found on your person. The more difficult case for the State is “constructive possession” where the drugs are somewhere nearby. In a constructive possession case, the State has to prove you knew the drugs were there and had control over them.
A typical scenario is where drugs are found inside a car, but not on any person. If there is more than one person in the car, there is a chance a Motion to Dismiss may result in the charges being dropped. Likewise, if the drugs were not in plain view and the car didn’t belong to you, that becomes a tough case for the State to prove.
Most drug arrests usually involve some type of search or seizure. Whether the search was of your car, home, or person, a motion to suppress evidence from an unlawful search can result in the entire case being dismissed, even if the drugs were found on your person. Searches conducted with a warrant may also be subject to attacks on constitutional grounds.
Confidential Informants (CIs), are often used by police to make drug buys and then testify against you. In most cases, a motion can be filed to disclose the name of the CI and attack their credibility. Often, CIs have a lengthy criminal history and are working for the police to obtain leniency for their case. A good drug crime defense attorney can often discredit these people on the stand.
Depending on the type of drug charge, prison is a real possibility upon conviction. Even mere possession of a drug results in a felony (only possession of less than 20 grams of cannabis or drug paraphernalia are misdemeanors). Depending on the quantity possessed, Trafficking charges can result. Trafficking in controlled substances carry statutory minimum prison sentences averaging from 3 to 15 years.
Before trial, make sure to explore diversion programs that may result in dismissal. There are also Substantial Assistance Agreements that can result in a waiver of the minimum prison sentences for Trafficking. Possession cases may also be eligible for Drug Court, which can result in the charges being dismissed or avoiding jail or prison.
If you're facing drug charges, contact Blaine today to schedule an appointment.