To learn more about the various types of drug possession defenses that can be used in Texas, read on and reach out to our skilled Houston drug crimes defense attorneys. We are on your side.
What are the different kinds of drug possession defenses that can be used in Texas?
Unlawful Search and Seizure
Keep in mind that the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution supplies citizens with security from the government. Under only precise cases is it lawful for authorities to search a person’s body or property. Search and seizure challenges arise often in drug possession defense cases.
Illicit drugs found in “plain view,” may be taken and used as evidence in a drug matter. An instance of plain view might be drugs or drug paraphernalia on a car’s dashboard while an officer conducts a legal traffic stop. Another instance would be a marijuana field that is observable from a plane’s point of view.
Recognize the chance that an officer pries open a car’s trunk, without permission, and finds drugs. Or, if a low-flying drone is flown over a precise location and photographs a hidden marijuana field. These are a few instances of searches that would be illegal without a search warrant.
If authorities find evidence through illegal methods, the court will ban that proof at trial. Because the evidence found in an illegal search is often hugely critical to the prosecution’s case, the government will usually drop its case if police broke your Fourth Amendment rights.
Drugs Belong to Someone Else
Criminal defendants facing drug charges often want to claim that the drugs do not belong to them, or that they had no idea the drugs were in their possession. But, this might not be as strong of an argument as you might believe.
Police do not always have to find drugs on your body or directly in your possession in order for you to be convicted on drug possession charges. Instead, prosecutors must usually only show that you had control of or access to the drugs.
At trial, a defense attorney might claim that there is a reasonable doubt that you knew about the drugs. However, this can be difficult if, for instance, a passenger in your car was using drugs just prior to or at the time of your arrest. That is why it is a good idea to always talk to a criminal defense lawyer before you make any claims or arguments to the police.
Chain of Custody Problems
Another drug possession defense is that the drugs are missing. Once drugs are taken during an arrest or upon execution of a search warrant, police generally keep them in an evidence room or locker. At trial, a defense attorney can ask whether the drugs offered as evidence are in fact the ones taken from the defendant (and not from a different matter).
This is typically known as an attack on the chain of custody. Other chains of custody attacks involve the accusation that one of the officers who handled the drugs throughout the course of an investigation did so improperly. The chance that such a tactic will succeed depends on how many officers held the drugs, and how well the police create and keep records of this activity.
CONTACT OUR EXPERIENCED HOUSTON FIRM
If you have sustained a serious injury or are facing criminal charges, contact the Gonzalez Law Group today to learn more about how we can help you through every step of the legal process ahead.