Drug charges can threaten to derail your future, especially if those charges involve trafficking or intent to distribute. A lot of times in these cases prosecutors are over confident, which drives them to approach accused individuals with plea deals. With evidence stacked against you and prosecutors claiming that if they go to trial they’re going to pursue the harshest penalties, one of these plea deals might be appealing to you. But regardless of how stacked against you the deck may seem, you shouldn’t be so quick to cave to prosecutors’ requests.
Strong criminal defense options might be at your fingertips
Don’t let prosecutors dupe you into thinking that your case is dead in the water. Instead, diligently consider your criminal defense options to see if any of them give you a chance to negotiate a better plea deal or obtain a dismissal or acquittal altogether. Here are some of those defense options:
- Suppressing evidence: If viable, this is the best way to attack a prosecution’s case. Here, you argue that due to issues with evidence collection and tracking, said evidence shouldn’t be used against you. In a lot of drug cases, evidence of drug possession can be suppressed due to an illegal search and seizure. For example, law enforcement might discover narcotics in the truck of a car after a traffic stop on I-70. However, if there is no legal justification for that traffic stop, then any evidence gathered following that stop might be deemed tainted and therefore inadmissible at trial. Other ways to suppress evidence are challenging chain of custody and arguing that evidence simply hasn’t been established to be what the prosecution purports it to be.
- Attacking witness credibility: While physical evidence plays an important role in drug cases, so, too, does witness testimony. This is especially true when it comes to the intent aspect of the alleged crime in question. However, not all witness testimony is reliable. It’s up to you, though, to show that a witness’s testimony shouldn’t be trusted. You can do this by showing prior inconsistent statements, attacking bias and motivation, and showing a witness’s prior criminal history. This means that you’ll need to engage in thorough legal discovery, which is the process of finding out what information the other side has and who they intend to call as witnesses, and thoroughly researching witnesses to identify weaknesses.
- Arguing that the elements haven’t been met: In the end, your ultimate goal is to show that the prosecution has failed to carry its burden in proving that you’re guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. However, they must prove this guilt as to every element of the applicable law. In the drug crime context, this often means that the prosecution has to prove actual possession, the kind of drug that was possessed, the amount of the drug that was possessed, and your intent as far as what to do with those drugs. You can attack these elements in a number of ways, but sometimes the prosecution simply struggles to prove certain aspects of the case, such as intent. So one criminal defense option that you might have is poking holes in the prosecution’s case as to those elements that are problematic for the prosecution.
Leave no stone unturned in your criminal defense
You owe it to yourself to develop the best criminal defense possible under the circumstances. There’s simply too much on the line to do otherwise. That’s why it might be in your best interests to work closely with a skilled criminal defense attorney who has decades of experience handling drug cases. Only then can you rest assured that you have the holistic criminal defense that you need to adequately fight back against the prosecution.