If you have been charged with a federal drug crime, one of the most important steps to take in order to protect your rights and future is hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Your attorney can investigate your arrest and determine which defenses might apply to your case, helping you obtain the most positive outcome. While some defenses dispute evidence or testimony, others address procedural mistakes by law enforcement.
The following are the most common defenses to federal drug crimes:
- Violation of Fourth Amendment rights – According to the Fourth Amendment found in the U.S. Constitution, every citizen has the right to due process of law, which includes lawful search and seizure protocols before an arrest is made. If police fail to obtain your consent or a warrant signed by a judge prior to searching your vehicle or home, it is considered unlawful. Any evidence that was collected by an unlawful search could be suppressed, which could result in the dismissal of your entire case.
- The drugs are not yours – Another common defense is saying that the drugs do not belong to you. For instance, you borrowed your friend’s car and got pulled over by the police, who perform a vehicle search and discover drugs in the glove compartment. You or your lawyer can argue that you had no idea that the drugs were there.
- The drugs are not what they appear to be – After the drugs are seized by law enforcement, they are sent to the crime lab for analysis. At trial, the crime lab analyst will show his/her findings to help the prosecution make its case. If the results from the crime lab determine the substances obtained at arrest are not actually illicit drugs, then your case will be dismissed.
- The drugs were planted – Whether the police officer’s body camera footage shows him/her planting drugs, or another officer blew the whistle, evidence of planting drugs will result in dismissal of an entire case. However, since sworn testimony by law enforcement carries significant weight at trial, this could be tough to prove.
- Entrapment – Although law enforcement commonly orchestrates sting operations, entrapment happens when an officer or informant induces a suspect to commit a crime he/she otherwise may not have. For example, if an undercover cop or informant pressures you into buying drugs, it is deemed as entrapment.
At Patituce & Associates, we can provide experienced legal representation to help you either get your entire case dismissed or your charges/penalties reduced. Our Cleveland criminal defense attorney has successfully handled drug cases in both state and federal court and understands what it takes to get the best results.
Contact us at (440) 709-8088 and schedule a free consultation today.