DC Drug Defense Strategies

Drug cases may involve different types of evidence that prosecutors might present at a trial to secure a conviction. Most drug offense cases involve testimony from police officers who conducted a search of a person’s body, their car, or their home that resulted in an allegation of drug possession.

If you face drug charges, reach out to a skilled defense attorney who understands how to build effective DC drug defense strategies. Your lawyer could analyze the prosecution’s evidence and try to exploit any shortcomings in their case. Call today to discuss your situation.

Constitutional Issues in Drug Cases

One of the most common constitutional issues in drug cases is the question of unconstitutional searches. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the police from conducting unreasonable searches and seizures that extend to a person’s body, their vehicle, and any area where a person has the right to privacy. That includes their home and their immediate belongings such as backpacks, briefcases, purses, et cetera. When the police want to conduct a search of one of these private locations, they should get a warrant first. However, the constitution carves out exceptions to the warrant requirements. In many circumstances, they do not need a warrant to conduct a search.

A police officer’s use of the exception also creates the possibility of constitutional challenges. In situations where the police conduct a search without a warrant and without a valid exception to the warrant requirement, it is possible they acted illegally when they conducted the search. When the police acted in violation of a person’s constitutional rights, any alleged evidence the police recovered from the search may not be admissible in court. That event could be suppressed and is not usable as evidence against the person.

Challenging the Constitutionality of a Search

Challenging the constitutionality of searches is extremely complicated because of the rules involved and the exceptions to the search warrant requirements. Attorneys experienced in constitutional law who understand the protections afforded to people under the Fourth Amendment may investigate possible Fourth Amendment challenges. They may determine that a given search was conducted in violation of a person’s constitutional rights. The unconstitutional search could result in evidence being thrown out of court. An experienced defense attorney understands how constitutional issues affect a person’s case and can use these issues to craft powerful DC drug defense strategies.

Possession

Possession is a common element that prosecutors must prove in most drug offenses. Possession does not necessarily mean that prosecutors must prove that a person had a drug on them. Prosecutors may try to prove actual possession or constructive possession. Actual possession means that a person is alleged to be in physical and actual control of a controlled substance. Usually, that means the prosecutor claims the person had the drug on them at the time they were arrested.

In other drug cases, prosecutors work on a theory called constructive possession. Constructive possession means the person intended to exercise control over the drug even though they did not have the drug on their person at the time. Most drug cases involve testimony trying to connect a person to the illegal substance.

Expert Testimony in Drug Cases

One of the DC drug defense strategies that an attorney might use is expert testimony. The defense might include testimony evidence from the government’s chemist. The government uses a chemist to prove that a substance is the drug the prosecutor claims it is. Prosecutors are required to do chemical testing and turn over their chemical testing evidence to the defense. The defense attorney inspects the evidence and presents testimony about chemical testing to prove what kind of substance is alleged to have been possessed by the defendant. In cases of allegations of drug distribution, other kinds of evidence may include testimony from undercover officers or cooperating informants who conducted controlled buys of an alleged drug. Prosecutors attempt to use marked currency to prove that a transaction took place.

Benefits of a DC Drug Attorney

Because every case is unique, there are no DC drug defense strategies that will work for every situation. A skilled attorney knows where to look for errors in the prosecution’s case, and they could construct a defense that takes into account the unique circumstances of your case. Get in touch with a determined drug lawyer today to begin working on your defense.