Drug charges can quickly derail your life, especially if you’re convicted and slapped with the harsh penalties sought by prosecutors. Jail or prison time, enormous fines, a lingering criminal record, and haunting damage to your reputation can all leave you feeling scared and uncertain about your future. But before you let overzealous prosecutors push you into a plea bargain that isn’t right for you, you need to carefully consider your criminal defense options. After all, even when the evidence seems insurmountable, you might have a strategy at your disposal that can help you beat your charges.
One of the best ways to destroy the prosecution’s case is to limit its use of the evidence that it has against you. This is often done by suppressing evidence. How do you suppress evidence? Here are a few of the most common ways to going about doing that:
- Present evidence of an illegal search or seizure: Police officers are supposed to follow the law at all times. When they fail to do so when they conduct a search and seizure, then they can violate your Constitutional rights. In most instances, law enforcement officers are required to possess a valid search warrant before they can search you, your vehicle, or your premises. There are some exceptions to the warrant requirement, but police officers tend to overstep their bounds when they rely on these exceptions. So, if narcotics were found on you or in your vehicle after an illegal traffic stop, meaning that you were stopped without the requisite reasonable suspicion, then you might be able to have that evidence thrown out. This can devastate the prosecution’s case and lead to a positive outcome for you.
- Show chain of custody errors: When prosecutors present evidence against you, they’re supposed to provide reasonable assurances that the evidence is what they say it is and that it hasn’t been compromised in some way. Evidence is mishandled all the time, though, which gives you the opportunity to argue that it shouldn’t be used against you given its compromised state. This can be especially powerful when the prosecution tries to prove that the substances in question are, in fact, narcotics.
- Block witness testimony: You have the right to fairness in your criminal case. This means that the prosecution should share with you all the information that it possesses, inform you of the witnesses they intend to call to testify against you, and allow you to depose those witnesses. If the state fails to provide discovery or otherwise withholds information to which you’re entitled, or if witnesses fail to appear at depositions despite having been subpoenaed for them, then you have a strong argument that the prosecution shouldn’t be able to use that evidence against you. After all, there’s a good chance that you’re going to provide information to the prosecution and make your witnesses available for depositions. So, it’s only fair that they do the same.
Fully exploit your criminal defense options
There’s no doubt that there’s a lot at stake in your criminal case. That’s why it’s imperative that you do everything you can to build an aggressive, thorough, and persuasive criminal defense. You need to know the facts of your case, applicable law, and how to develop legal strategies that seek to poke holes in as many parts of the prosecution’s case as possible. Only then can you rest assured that you’ve done everything you can to protect your interests and your future.