While the possession of limited amounts of recreational marijuana has been legal here in Colorado for some years, that’s not the case with all other controlled substances. You can still get arrested for meth, heroin, cocaine or the possession of prescription drugs that aren’t your own.
Just because you ultimately end up facing drug charges doesn’t mean that you’ll be found guilty of a crime. There are a variety of technicalities that end up with charges being dropped, a judge dismissing a case or an acquittal. Three common defenses against drug possession charges include:
An unlawful search and seizure
Police officers can’t randomly stop you as you’re riding down the street. They must have a valid reason for doing so. One of the more common reasons a drug possession case ends up being dismissed is the discovery that police officers violated a defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights regarding searches and seizures.
Mistaken identification of the substance
Police officers frequently used cheap “field tests” to check to see if a substance is drugs — and those tests are notorious for false positives. There are countless cases in which drugs end up being sent off for testing to the state lab only to prove not to be drugs, after all.
A broken chain of custody
There’s supposed to be a chain of custody for evidence in order to preserve its integrity. Law enforcement is supposed to inventory evidence and have a sign-in or out procedure to ensure its integrity. Sometimes evidence gets lost, or its integrity can be called into question because the chain of custody wasn’t preserved — and that can seriously weaken a prosecutor’s case.
The above-referenced matters are only a few of many issues that can be raised in your defense. Since every situation is different, find out more about which defenses apply to your case.