How Investigate and BEAT a Drug Charge
Issues to attack and challenge the drug charges. As an investigator on your case, I am always going to investigate the stop, the search, the evidence provided to prove the case. Let’s start with Possession assuming that the police got into a car or home and have made a seizure.
Possession by whom?
The defendant’s identity must be proven in court Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. This comes into play when there is no direct possession of the alleged drug. For example, if it was in a vehicle. Other people might have been in the car or others at the residence or business that you were located. Are these factors in your case?
Any Reasonable Doubt about the person’s identity and their possession of it might also be called Constructive Possession.
Constructive possession is significantly more difficult to prove, and the State must show that while someone who does not actually possess the illegal contraband, that they have the intent and the ability to control dominion over the drug or contraband.
So, here’s the question, did you exercise care, custody, and management over the drugs? If not, how can the prosecutor prove it? She cannot! Reasonable Doubt exists. Remember, the police only need Probable Cause to arrest, but to convict, the threshold is much higher.
Knowledge – the culpable mental state or Mens Rea. Can the prosecutor prove your knowledge of the drugs?
The prosecutor must prove that you knowingly possessed the drugs. If you were in another person’s vehicle, did you really have control and knowledge of the drugs in someone else’s car?
What if it’s your car? Did you loan it to someone before taking possession of the car again? These are valid questions and could be part of a defense strategy.
Hypothetically speaking, if you were traffic stopped and somehow the police searched your car, and they find meth or coke under your seat or in your glovebox. Then, they still must prove possession. How are they going to achieve that? DNA, fingerprints, your own admission. Don’t talk to the police about the drugs. Invoke your rights and make them work for it. Will they be able to prove the drugs are yours?
Search and Seizure
Even if the drugs were proven to be your drugs and can prove your knowledge, was the stop legal? Was the search legal? Did they talk you without reading your constitutional rights (Miranda Warnings)?
If the police made a mistake on the stop, the search, the K9, or any part of that, the evidence seized will not be admissible in your case.
How did the police come in contact with you? Or in other words, what made him traffic stop you?
Warrant and Warrantless Searches
Cops have to establish probable cause to search and for a warrant. They cannot just enter your home or any home without a warrant. In a vehicle, they need Probable Cause that they can clearly explain to the court. If not, the case is a waste of the court’s time and will likely not go further than preliminary hearings.
Remember During a Police Confrontation to…
- NEVER GIVE CONSENT to search
- Ask if the stop is being recorded
- Only provide essentials, ID, Insurance, and your correct address.
- Do NOT tell the police where you are going or where you came from
- Do NOT admit to anything
Fighting a drug case in Florida and if it goes Federal is critically important. The penalties may often lead to years in prison. You must have the right Criminal Defense investigator to boldly and critically tear into the case.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me for help