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Ways to defend against drug possession charges

On Behalf of | Mar 13, 2023 | Drug Charges |

Being charged with drug possession in Louisiana can carry stiff penalties, and it’s in your best interest to do everything in your power to fight those charges. The difference between winning a case or having charges dismissed versus being convicted of drug possession can be life-changing.

But it’s sometimes easier said than done to contest drug charges. Some tactics are more effective than others in battling drug possession charges.

Some more effective tactics

One of the strongest ways to contest a drug charge is to challenge the legality of the search by which law enforcement discovered the drugs. The Fourth Amendment protects citizens from unlawful search and seizure, and there are only specific ways the government can validly discover evidence. If law enforcement takes shortcuts, critical evidence can be thrown out.

Another strong option is to contest the chain of custody in storing and producing the drugs at trial or to challenge the lab testing verifying that the seized evidence is illegal drugs. To prove their case, the state needs to produce a clear and untainted chain of custody for drugs after seizing them and prove that these are illegal drugs. Failing at any step along the way can lead to evidence being dismissed.

Less effective tactics

Commonly, people accused of drug offenses may claim that the drugs in question don’t belong to them. But there’s a high standard of proof for this to be an effective defense. You would have to show that the drugs did not belong to you and that you were unaware of their presence.

Another less effective tactic is claiming entrapment by law enforcement. Even if you sell to or buy drugs from law enforcement, this usually doesn’t constitute entrapment. Generally, you’d need to have been threatened or coerced by law enforcement to make an entrapment defense work.

Defending against drug charges isn’t always easy, but there are methods at your disposal to fight a case against you. Examining the state’s evidence might show ways to fight drug possession charges.