Drug charges can quickly threaten to derail the life that you’ve diligently worked to build. As a result, you might be overwhelmed at the thought of what the future has in store for you. But even when the evidence seems insurmountable, you might have strong criminal defense options that you can exploit. Therefore, you shouldn’t count yourself out too early in the game and accept a plea deal that isn’t in your best interests. One of the best ways to go about fighting back against these kinds of charges is to try to suppress evidence.
Ways you might be able to suppress evidence
There is a lot of rules and laws pertaining to the collection of evidence, all meant to protect your rights as a citizen. You would think that law enforcement officers would adhere to the law in this regard, but you’d be astounded by the number of times they make mistakes that violate your rights. Therefore, before doing anything else on your case, you might want to consider whether you can suppress the evidence that the prosecution intends to use against you. Here are some of the ways that you might be able to do just that:
- Illegal traffic stop: A lot of drug charges are filed after a traffic stop leads to a vehicle search or a person search that results in the discovery of narcotics. Therefore, the evidence might seem overwhelming. However, if the traffic stop that initiated the whole event and eventually resulted in the recovery of narcotics was illegal to begin with, then the law may view that evidence as tainted and therefore inadmissible against you. This is known as the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine. So, carefully analyze the circumstances surrounding your traffic stop to determine if you have an argument here.
- Chain of custody errors: Before prosecutors can bring drug charges against you they have to know that the substances allegedly found in your possession are actually illegal narcotics. This means that the substances have to be transported from the collection site to law enforcement’s evidence room and then to a laboratory for testing. Anywhere along the way there may be errors that jeopardize the integrity of the specimen being tested. If you can attack those errors and raise doubts as to the test results, then you might be able to get the evidence suppressed.
- Other illegal searches: The U.S. Constitution protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures. Therefore, if you, our home, or your vehicle were subjected to a warrantless search, then you really need to scrutinize the circumstances to determine if law enforcement’s actions fall within one of the acceptable exceptions to the warrant requirement. There’s a lot of case law on this topic, so knowing it and how it applies to the facts of your case can be crucial.
Diligently crafting the defense you need
We know that you’re under a lot of pressure right now, but you can’t let that stress blind you to the realities of your circumstances. Sure, the evidence might be stacked against you, but even having some evidence that could suggest evidence suppression might be enough to entice the prosecution to give you a better plea deal or even drop some charges. This can spare you from the harshest penalties and better protect your future. In the best case scenario, you might be able to strong arm the prosecution into dismissing charges or obtain an acquittal at trial, which would put you back on track to reclaiming your normal life.
What’s important to remember, though, is that evidence suppression is just one piece of a criminal defense strategy that might come into play in your case. Therefore, you need to take a holistic approach to your case and diligently work to uncover every opportunity that you can to raise reasonable doubt. It can be a daunting task, but it isn’t one that you have to face alone.