Have You Been Charged With Possession In Charleston? Here Are Your Best Defenses
Being charged with possession can be an overwhelming experience, and for some, can feel life ending. However, it’s important to understand that when you are charged with a crime, it is not set in stone, it is only a starting point. “Innocent until proven guilty” isn’t just a saying, it’s the cornerstone of our justice system, and it means that when you walk into a courtroom, the skepticism should be placed on the charges, not on you. In fact, the entire burden of proving that you are guilty of the charges falls on the prosecution. In other words, it’s not your job to prove you’re innocent. It’s the prosecution’s job to convince the jury that you are guilty. And not only do they have to convince the jury of this, they must convince the jury beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a very high bar. Any doubt will weaken the prosecution’s case and make it harder to convict you. This is your time to fight and an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you do just that. In some cases, your lawyer may even be able to negotiate a plea bargain, have your charges reduced to a less serious offense, or have the charges dismissed completely. It is critical to talk to a lawyer so that you have an understanding of what possible outcomes are available to you.
Defenses to Possession Charges
The best defense against possession charges will depend on the specific facts of your case. However, understanding the necessary elements of the crime will help give you a sense of how weak or strong the prosecution’s case against you may be.
- Was the search lawful? If you didn’t give consent to the police to search your vehicle or home, they lacked a warrant, and didn’t have probable cause, then the search was not lawful. This happens more than you might think. This is a violation of the constitutional protection against illegal searches and seizures, and any evidence found as the result of an illegal search will be disqualified from consideration as “fruit of the poisonous tree.” If the search can be established as illegal, the charges will therefore likely be dismissed due to a lack of evidence.
- Were the drugs yours? In order to prove that you are guilty of possession, the prosecution must prove that you, specifically, possessed the drugs. This can be difficult to do if the drugs were found in a shared space, such as a car with multiple passengers in it. A skilled defense attorney will create doubt around who the drugs belonged to and the prosecution will likely struggle to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they belonged to you as opposed to someone else in the car.
- Were they even drugs? It happens far too often that people are arrested for possession based on faulty field test results. Anything from spun sugar to sea salt has accidentally registered as illicit substances based on highly inaccurate field tests. There must be a proper crime lab analysis done and the police must be able to prove that the substance tested was the exact same one seized from the crime scene. For this reason, if the drugs are missing, or it can’t be proven that the drugs tested were the same ones seized, this is grounds for dismissal.
Talk to a Lawyer
If you have been charged with possession, contact Charleston DUI & drug crime lawyer at the Gus Anastopoulo Law Firm and find out how to ensure the best possible outcome for your case. Schedule a free consultation today.