What are Common Defenses When Fighting Drug Charges?

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Understanding how to navigate the complex landscape of drug charges can be intimidating. Whether it’s deciphering legal jargon or determining which defense strategy best suits your situation, it can often feel like trying to find your way through a maze with no clear path in sight.

At CJB Law, we’re here to help illuminate your path, starting with understanding the key defenses available when fighting drug charges.

Understanding Possession in the Context of Drug Charges

common defenses when fighting drug charges

Possession is a central theme when fighting drug charges. Now, this might sound straightforward enough, but it’s a complex topic with many subtleties to consider. Let’s break it down.

Actual Possession

The first type of possession is actual possession. This is, as the term suggests, when the item in question (the drugs) is physically on your person or within your immediate area, such as in your backpack, purse, or car. It’s what you would instinctively think of when someone mentions drug possession.

Constructive Possession

The second type, and often the most disputed, is constructive possession. This is the concept that you had controlling influence over the item, even if it wasn’t in your immediate physical vicinity. This isn’t about controlling the space where the item was found, but rather the item itself.

An important note here is that under Minnesota law (and many other jurisdictions), there’s a possibility of joint possession. This means that two or more people can be deemed to possess the same item simultaneously.

To challenge a charge of constructive possession, it is vital to demonstrate whether you had the capacity to exercise control over the item. For example, who owned the car where the drugs were found, or whether your fingerprints or DNA are on the baggie containing the drugs.

Crafting Your Defense: Key Points in Fighting Drug Charges

Understanding the nuances of possession is just the beginning when fighting drug charges. The strategy you employ to argue your case can be the difference between being found guilty or not guilty.

The Role of Forensic Evidence in Drug Charges

In a majority of drug cases, arresting agents do not send the containers housing the controlled substances for forensic testing, such as fingerprint or DNA analysis. The lack of such crucial evidence can play a pivotal role in your defense strategy.

Say, for instance, the drugs were found in a car you don’t own, or in a bag you’ve never touched. You can argue that the absence of your fingerprints or DNA on these items casts reasonable doubt on whether you were in possession of the drugs. Remember, it’s about the item, not the location.

Exploring Every Avenue: An Inclusive Approach to Fighting Drug Charges

common defenses when fighting drug charges

While exploring possession and forensic evidence is vital, fighting drug charges effectively requires you to examine every possible avenue.

When charged with drug offenses, remember to consider every possible defense strategy. It’s not simply about denying ownership, but scrutinizing the entire process, from the arrest to the presentation of evidence. With a detailed understanding of the complexities involved and a well-structured defense strategy, you can effectively counter drug charges and protect your rights. Contact CJB Law today to learn how we can help you fight drug charges.