Due to the differences between drugs and their potential punishments, defendants accused of drug possession will need to tailor their defense strategies to the unique facts and circumstances that apply to their cases. For example, if you've been accused of possessing a kilo of cocaine, your defense strategy will probably be very different from the strategy employed by someone accused of possessing half an ounce of marijuana.
That said, there are certain drug possession defense strategies that -- depending on the circumstances -- could apply to any kind of drug crime accusation.
Here are several common defenses against drug possession
What follows are some of the most common defense strategies employed by those accused of drug possession:
Unlawful search and seizure: The police cannot perform a search and seizure randomly on anyone. The need to have a reasonable cause of action to suspect that the person is in possession of a drug in order to perform a search. For example, maybe the police saw drugs in the backseat of the defendant's car. This would be sufficient reason for them to perform a search. If police perform a search and seizure operation without sufficient cause, then any resulting charges could be thrown out in court.
The drugs did not belong to the defendant: Perhaps police found drugs under the passenger seat of a vehicle and accused the passenger of drug possession. However, the drugs actually belonged to the owner of the vehicle who was driving at the time police found the drugs. In this case, the defendant could defend him- or herself by showing that the illegal substance belonged to someone else.
The lab analysis proves the substance wasn't a drug: Sometimes substances like sugar, salt or baking soda look like cocaine, and they could lead to a false arrest or mistaken accusation. In these situations, crime lab analysis may show that the substances at the center of the case were not drugs, and the defendant can obtain a verdict of not guilty.
Presenting proof of a prescription: If the defendant can provide evidence that a doctor prescribed him or her a prescription drug, then this could serve as sufficient evidence to prevent a conviction of illegal prescription drug possession.
There are many ways to defend against drug possession
Every person accused of drug crimes will need to review the facts and circumstances of his or her arrest to determine the best defense strategy that will apply to his or her case. Ultimately, the more the defendant understands about Wisconsin drug law, the better capable he or she will be of planning an appropriate defense.