Carroll County Drug Lawyer
Although the Maryland Legislature has decriminalized possession of a small amount of marijuana and associated paraphernalia and repealed mandatory minimum sentences for several drug-related crimes, drug charges remain serious felonies. Individuals who are charged with drug offenses should contact a skilled Carroll County drug lawyer to discuss their potential legal options. If you were charged with any type of drug offense, reach out to an aggressive criminal defense attorney today.
Defenses for Drug-Related Crimes
The available defenses to drug-related crimes depend upon the circumstances of the case. Explained here are the most common defenses.
- Unlawful search and seizure
- Crime lab mishandling
- Drug possession did not occur
Unlawful Search and Seizure
Authorities are bound by the right of due process guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment. Violations mean that any evidence obtained illegally cannot be admitted as evidence and charges can be dismissed by the court.
Authorities must have a lawful reason to stop a vehicle or enter a residence and require a warrant issued by a judge to conduct a search for whatever the warrant specifies.
In cases that do not have a search warrant, authorities must have probable cause that an offense happened or is happening. If police stop a vehicle for a faulty brake light or any other traffic violation, they may ask the driver if they can search the vehicle and that request should be refused. But if illicit drugs are within plain view in the vehicle, it can lawfully be seized and used as evidence.
This violation of law happens if a law enforcement officer, or a civilian acting undercover on behalf of law enforcement, persuades a person to commit a criminal act that the person would not do on their own. For example, an undercover officer convinces a person by threat, intimidation, or under some type of pressure, to take possession of an illicit drug and take it into a business with instruction to give to another person. Entrapment does not apply if the person convincing someone to take possession of a drug is not connected to law enforcement.
Sting operations conducted by law enforcement generally do not constitute entrapment. Contact a Carroll County drug layer to find out how more about how entrapment could be used in a potential drug offense.
Crime Lab Mishandling
The prosecution must prove that the substance confiscated in an arrest is, in fact, an illicit drug so it can be used as evidence against the defendant. This is accomplished by a crime lab analysis of the confiscated substance. The crime lab technician must testify and be cross-examined. Mistakes can and do happen while the substance is under the control of the crime lab. The substance could be mishandled, contaminated, lost, or damaged in some way, or the validity of the results can be brought into question. An experienced Caroll County drug lawyer may most likely look into lab mishandlings when preparing for a defense.
Drug Possession Did Not Occur
A person charged with possession may be able to successfully defend the charge even if the evidence is found in a person’s pocket. The person, under law, must have known or should have known the drug was in their pocket. A Carroll County drug lawyer could potentially center on the drug if it was planted on the person by someone else and the defendant did not have constructive knowledge of it.
Talk to a Carroll County Drug Attorney Today
Before giving up and pleading guilty, it is in the best interest of a person facing drug charges to take advantage of our Carroll County drug lawyer’s free case review and an explanation of the options that may be available.
It is imperative that a person charged with a drug offense take advantage of our drug attorney’s free case evaluation. Call for an appointment today.