Defenses to Charges of Drug Possession

If you were arrested on Wyoming drug charges or charged with South Dakota possession of drugs, you may have several defenses available. But you need aggressive legal representation to mount a successful defense.

The drug possession defense team at Just Criminal Law stands ready to serve as your advocate. We will thoroughly investigate your case and aggressively challenge the evidence against you. Having some of the evidence excluded will make it more difficult to convict you. This can lead to a more favorable resolution to your case, a reduced sentence, or even having the case against you dropped entirely.

Drug Possession Defense in Wyoming and South Dakota

The defenses available to you will depend on the specific factors in your case. Your defense may hinge on what you knew at the time of the arrest, the type and amount of evidence the prosecutor has against you, and how the police conducted their investigation.

Some drug possession defenses will challenge the alleged facts. Others will target procedural errors. Sometimes we can raise affirmative defenses, introducing your own evidence to show that you were acting within the law or that the prosecutor does not have a case.

Unlawful Search and Seizure

The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution protects Americans from unlawful searches and seizures. The government can only search and confiscate your property if they follow the rules.

If the police did not have probable cause to suspect you committed a crime or exceeded the scope of their authority, for example, by searching an area that they should not have, we can argue that the evidence should be excluded because of an illegal search and seizure.

Drugs Are Not Yours

Criminal defendants often claim that the drugs do not belong to them or they did not know they were in possession of drugs.

This defense is most effective when the drugs were found in a space you share with someone else, such as if you were pulled over with passengers in the car when drugs were found or if drugs were found in a room that you share with roommates.

To prove a drug charge, the prosecutor does not need to prove that you were in actual possession of drugs. Instead, they can prove their case if you were in constructive possession of the drugs, meaning you exercised ‘dominion and control’ over the controlled substance.

Crime Lab Analysis

To prove a South Dakota possession of drugs case or a Wyoming drug charges case, police must show that the substance they seized was actually a controlled substance. This is done by sending the drugs to a crime lab for analysis. But a successful criminal defense team can identify errors or discrepancies in the lab analysis report that can lead to a reduction in charges or dismissal of the case.

Chain of Custody

We can also attack the chain of custody.

When the prosecutor presents evidence, they must prove that the substance presented at trial is the same substance that was taken from you at the scene of the alleged crime. Typically, evidence is stored in an evidence locker. Law enforcement must track who handled and had access to the drugs. If the drugs were handled improperly or records were not properly maintained, our team can challenge the chain of custody, arguing that there were procedural errors and that the drugs presented at trial were not yours.

Unwitting Possession

When claiming unwitting possession, you acknowledge that you were in possession of drugs but argue that you did not know or reasonably know that you were carrying drugs. This defense is effective if you were carrying a bag or driving a car that belonged to someone else.

Contact Just Criminal Law for Aggressive Drug Crime Defense

A drug possession conviction carries serious consequences, including fines, jail time, the loss of your driver’s license, and mandatory substance abuse treatment. But the criminal defense team at Just Criminal Law can help.

Led by former prosecutor Christina L. Williams, the defense team at Just Criminal Law will carefully analyze your situation, identify your best defenses, and fight for a Not Guilty verdict.

Just Criminal Law is based in Gillette, Wyoming, and proudly defends people accused of drug crimes in eastern Wyoming and western South Dakota. To learn more, read about our results and why clients choose us, then contact us today to schedule your personalized case review and strategy session.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is offered for educational purposes only. This information is not offered as legal advice. A person accused of a crime should always consult with an attorney before making decisions that have legal consequences.

Categories: Drug Charges