All states in the U.S. have laws governing the possession of Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS). Louisiana law divides CDS into five Schedules with Schedule 1 being the most dangerous and Schedule 5 being the least dangerous. A conviction of possession of CDS can lead to significant fines and even jail time.
While the laws on possession of CDS, varies from state to state, the general principle among all of them is somewhat the same. To prove the crime of possession it has to be shown beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knew that the drug in possession was a controlled substance and that such a person knowingly had control or possession over the drug. However, the following are some common defenses to drug possession charges:
- 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution: The 4th Amendment guarantees protection against unlawful search and seizure prior to arrest. If a defendant is within the safety of his home, the police cannot enter his home and search for drugs without a search warrant, if the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.
- Drugs don’t belong to me: Another common defense is for the defendant to claim that the drugs belonged to someone else and he had no idea how they got there.
- Medicinal Marijuana: State courts may grant an exception to a conviction if the defendant can prove that the use of marijuana was a medical necessity and not recreational. Federal courts don’t allow such a defense.
- Entrapment: Another common defense is entrapment, whereby the defendant claims that the officer or an informant induced him to commit the crime he otherwise had no intention to commit.
The above-mentioned defenses have been used in many drug possession cases. If you have been charged with possession of drugs, then you might be able to use one of the above-mentioned defenses. You should consider consulting with an experienced criminal attorney to get a better idea of the rights you possess in the matter.