Drug charges are serious. Mere implications in such criminal activities can threaten your reputation in the community, also putting you at risk of losing your job. But a conviction on these sorts of charges can have a whole host of negative implications for your life. A conviction can lead to jail or prison time, sure, but there are also a lot of collateral consequences that you might experience, such as long-term difficulties securing meaningful employment, obtaining appropriate and desirable housing, and spending sufficient amounts of time with your children.
With so much on the line, you need to know how to build the aggressive criminal defense necessary to protect your interests. You might be thinking that the evidence against you is insurmountable, but that may not be the case.
Can you suppress evidence in your drug case?
One powerful defense strategy that you might be able to implement in your case, even if the evidence is stacked against you, is the suppression of evidence. Generally, the police are supposed to have a warrant before they search you, your car, or your home, and that warrant must be supported by probable cause.
But there are a number of exceptions to the warrant requirement. While these exceptions are meant to provide law enforcement officers with some flexibility in their investigations, police officers often misapply them in violation of Constitutional rights. When this happens, you might be able to demonstrate that the search was illegal, and any subsequently seized evidence is thereby tainted by that illegality.
However, there are a number of situations where a violation of your Constitutional rights can occur, too. This includes:
- Illegal traffic stops: The police aren’t allowed to initiate a traffic stop unless they have reasonable suspicion that you’ve committed a crime or a traffic offense. If the stop lacks that requisite suspicion, it’s illegal, and any evidence that is gathered through a search incident to that stop will be considered fruit of the poisonous tree, meaning that you’ll have the ability to try to suppress it.
- Chain of custody errors: If the prosecution wants to present physical evidence against you in your case, they’re going to have to provide reasonable assurances that the evidence is what they purport it to be. But if there were errors in the collection, storage, or testing of this physical evidence, you might be able to raise enough doubt about the evidence’s validity to warrant suppression of it.
- Deposition issues: One of the best ways to figure out what evidence the prosecution intends to present against you is to depose their witnesses. But if these witnesses don’t show up despite being subpoenaed for a deposition, you might be able to block them from testifying against you.
- Violation of your rights: We mentioned issues pertaining to warrantless searches, but even searches conducted with a warrant may prove to be illegal if they were secured on false information provided to the judge who approved the warrant. Your rights might also be violated in instances where the police interrogate you without informing you of your Miranda rights, and when you’re denied the ability to contact your attorney.
Take an aggressive line on your criminal defense
The outcome of your criminal case can define your future. With so much at stake, you owe it to yourself to put forth the strongest criminal defense arguments possible. That’s why now is the time to start thinking through your options so that you can educate yourself and make the decisions that position you as strongly as possible as you gear up to go up against the prosecution.