For this reason, it is important that anyone accused of a drug possession charge seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. A skilled drug crimes attorney may be able to fight drug possession charges by using one or more of the following legal defenses.The Defendant had a Valid Prescription for the Drug
Having a valid prescription is a valid legal defense against charges under HS 11350 and HS 11357. However, this defense only applies if the controlled substance possessed by the defendant was consistent with the prescription.
Therefore, this defense will not apply if the defendant:
- Had a fraudulent prescription,
- Used somebody elses prescription or possessed somebody elses legally prescribed drugs, or
- Has more of the drugs in his or her possession than is prescribed.
The Defendant Did Not Actually Possess the Controlled Substance
If the defendant did not actually possess drugs, he or she should not be convicted. There are a number of ways a skilled drug possession lawyer may be able to raise reasonable doubt that the defendant possessed drugs, including by:
- Showing that the police arrested the wrong suspect,
- Pointing out that drugs were not found on the defendants person at the time of the arrest, and/or
- Providing an alibi.
Similarly, temporary possession may be a valid legal defense. Temporary possession could mean the defendant was authorized to deliver the drugs to the person who had prescription for it, or that the defendant planned on disposing the drugs so that another person would not be able to use them.
The Defendant was Not Aware He or She Possessed Drugs
A drug possession attorney may be able to show that the defendant was not aware that he or she was carrying drugs on his or her person. For example, lets say Justin was over at his friend Matts house. The friends are about to leave the house together, but its cold outside, so Justin borrows a jacket from Matt. That night, Justin is arrested because he was carrying illegal drugs in his jacket pocket.
In this case, Justin may have a valid legal defense to drug possession charges because he did not know that the jacket he was wearing contained controlled substances.
Additionally, not knowing the controlled substance you were carrying is illegal could be a valid legal defense to drug possession charges.
The Police Performed an Illegal Search or Seizure on the Defendant
The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects every person in the country from illegal searches and seizures by law enforcement. This means police must have probable cause or a valid warrant in order to stop and search an individual.
If probable cause to search the defendant or a valid warrant did not exist, an experienced lawyer may have a valid legal defense to drug possession charges.
Hire an Attorney for the Best Defense
It may seem like an impossible task to fight drug possession charges in California. However, this is the job of a criminal defense attorney. Every day, criminal defense lawyers fight for clients facing criminal charges. There are valid legal defenses to drug possession charges, and private attorneys understand these defenses and when to use them. The best way to fight drug possession charges is to hire an attorney immediately.