Recently, I’ve been thinking about how drug charges work here in the United States. It just seems like a pretty black and white issue to me. If a police officer catches you in possession of drugs, you’re going to get charged for possession. Why do so many people hire lawyers to fight their charges? I wanted to learn more so I started reading about drug possession lawyers on the Ian Inglis Attorney at Law website. The attorneys at this office help lots of people that are dealing with drug possession charges.
Apparently, it is possible for police officers to obtain evidence for a drug arrest by unlawful means. The fourth amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees citizens the right to due process of law. That means that police officers have to obey the law when they search your belongings and seize materials. If drugs are in plain sight, an officer has the right to seize these materials. But let’s say that an officer suspects you may have drugs in your trunk. If you don’t give him permission to search the car and he doesn’t obtain a warrant, he can’t search. If he does search anyway and finds drugs, these drugs cannot be used as evidence against you in court.
Lawyers also force crime analysis labs to get involved in certain cases. An officer may make an arrest if a substance appears to be cocaine or LSD, but that doesn’t mean that it is. Lawyers will fight for you in court and make sure that the seized materials are tested. Lawyers will then make these testers testify in court to prove the authenticity of the materials.
Many lawyers will put the burden of proof on a prosecutor. In order to be charged with possession of an illegal drug, it must be proved that you were the actual one in possession. If you were with a group of people while arrested, a lawyer will pressure the prosecutor to provide evidence as to why the drugs belonged to you as opposed to other members of the group.
Lawyers put pressure on officers to follow protocol to a T. Messing up at any point between arrest and trial can mean their clients walk free. Many lawyers will ask officers to provide the evidence at the time of trial. The reason they do this is because sometimes evidence in a drug case can often go missing. Drug paraphernalia must be transferred to different locations several times in the months between arrest and trial. If parts of the evidence are missing at the time of trial, they cannot be used as evidence against the party on trial.
If a friend of mine ever got arrested for a drug charge, I would certainly recommend that they hire a lawyer to help fight the charges. Even if the evidence is too much to overcome, a lawyer can help in the overall outcome. They can often get your sentence reduced or substituted for community service instead of jail time.