If the police arrest you for possessing drugs, either with the intent to sell them or for personal use, you may feel that the charges are unjust or inaccurate. However, before you get angry with police officers or try to explain yourself, it is important to know some common defense methods first.
It may be possible for you to get out of this situation without a drug conviction. Here are some common drug possession defense arguments that criminal defense attorneys use.
Not your drugs
If the drugs in question are not yours, you likely feel frustrated about getting in legal trouble because of them. You may be able to argue that the substance belongs to someone who was in your apartment or vehicle.
You have important rights to privacy and due process. Law enforcement officials must afford you these privileges when searching your property or seizing any items. For example, if an officer enters your house without a warrant or searches the trunk of your car without permission, the search and seizure may be unlawful. The police must not violate the rights you have according to the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution.
The drugs the cops find may not belong to you or anyone else you know. Sometimes, law enforcement illegally puts drugs somewhere that makes it seem like they belong to a certain individual. A lawyer can help you file a motion to determine whether someone unlawfully planted the drugs.
Drugs go missing
Sometimes, police officers and prosecutors lose track of evidence. If the actual drugs are not present, there is a substantial lack of evidence of any crime. Drugs may get transferred to crime labs and police departments before getting where they need to be. The evidence may not even exist when the case goes to trial.
There is no doubt that the law treats drug crimes as serious offenses in Tennessee. But if you are not guilty of drug possession, you should not go to jail for it.