Drug Possession Defenses Explained by a Miami Criminal Defense Attorney
Drug laws are defined and enforced at both the state and federal levels. Most states follow general drug enforcement guidelines, while some have regulations that are more stringent than others.
Florida is well known for its opioid crisis, and it has implemented strict laws for individuals caught with scheduled medications not prescribed to them. Florida also has tighter controls over the registration of medical marijuana users, as well as specific regulations on the diseases that allow treatment with medical marijuana.
Charges related to drug offenses can include intent to distribute, trafficking, and possession. If charges are filed against you, contact our criminal defense attorney in Miami immediately to handle your legal defense. Our attorney will determine the best defense for your case if you choose to plead not guilty.
Some defenses challenge the testimony of law enforcement officers, the evidence, or the facts surrounding the arrest. Other defenses may look for procedural errors, such as a failure to read Miranda rights. A common justification for drug possession charges is an affirmative offense, for example, the use of medical marijuana.
Below are other typical drug possession defenses that could apply to your case.
Entrapment by Law Enforcement Officers
A common strategy of drug enforcement officials is to set up raids or sting operations. However, they are not permitted to entice or persuade citizens to commit crimes. Encouraging an unsuspecting person to commit a crime is known as entrapment.
One example of this is if a police informant pressures a person to pass drugs to a third party. These cases involve the state providing the source of the drugs.
Third Parties Involved
A typical defense for a drug crime is to state that you did not do it. If you have a skilled Miami criminal defense attorney, they may be able to convince a jury that you were unaware of the drugs on your person or property.
Inconclusive Crime Lab Analysis
Drugs have visual characteristics that are similar to other perfectly legal substances. White powder could be cocaine, but it could also be talcum powder residue left on the seat after changing your baby.
Police now have the ability to screen for many drugs on scene with preliminary drug kits, but many officers fail to actually use these kits. In the event of a trial, crime lab technicians are required by law to testify in cases by providing evidence of the test results.
The sworn testimony of a police officer carries weight with juries in court. Therefore, it is powerful when you can prove that an officer is lying on the witness stand. Officers may be reluctant to inform on the unethical behavior of their colleagues. However, your lawyer can file a motion for release of the department’s complaint file on the officer in question.
Your attorney and a private investigator can use the contact information of complainants to arrange interviews for your defense.
If prosecutors fail to provide the defense counsel with evidence, a judge could sanction the state or dismiss the case against the defendant.
Law enforcement officials transfer drugs between several different locations, from evidence lockers to the lab and then to court. It is possible for delays and situations of lost evidence to occur during the logistics process.
Unlawful Search and Seizure
The Fourth Amendment guarantees the right to due process of law, including lawful search and seizure procedures before the arrest of a suspect by a law enforcement officer.
Police are allowed to seize and use as evidence narcotics and illicit substances discovered at traffic stops. Police can confiscate drugs in plain view, such as those lying on a passenger seat or dashboard, but officers are not allowed to open other compartments of your car without reasonable suspicion or a search warrant.
If you are a victim of unlawful search and seizure by the police, contact our Miami criminal defense attorney to assist you with preparing a case of improper search & seizure against the arresting officers.
Get Help for Your Drug Charges from a Criminal Defense Attorney
It’s best to contact a criminal lawyer in Miami immediately after your arrest if you’re dealing with a criminal charge.
For those who are unfamiliar with the technicalities of a drug charge, the defenses available to you may not be apparent at the time of and in the hours following your arrest as you deal with the emotional stress of being arrested.
Hiring an attorney will reveal the holes in the case against you. Whether a procedural error or issues with evidence, an attorney will find the right defense for your specific situation and resolve your matter with the best possible outcome.
Stroleny Law, P.A. handles a variety of criminal law cases, so call now if you have any questions.
View more contact information here: Miami Criminal Defense Attorney.