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How our Law Firm will defend your indictment
The law concerning cocaine possession is vast and complicated. At our Law Office, we subject the facts and legal issues surrounding your arrest to a thorough examination. Available criminal defenses will change as to particular facts and circumstances that are unique to your case. To attain the most favorable resolution to your case, our law office believes that each client s contribution is a critical component to this process. At your free initial consultation, we will immediately start examining the facts as they relate to your case and possible defenses available.
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Actual Possession and Constructive Possession
Often, the analysis starts by examining the "type" of possession indicted. Bear in mind, with a cocaine possession charge, ownership of illegal substance has little or often no correlation to the issue of possession. If you have been indicted for cocaine possession in the drug laws do not take into account whether the illegal substance is "owned" by you or another individual. The criminal law is only concerned with whether you were either "actually" or "constructively" in cocaine possession.
The case law makes a distinction between actual and constructive drug possession. Actual possession simply means that a person has been found to have the drug on their person. A clear example of actual drug possession is when an individual is found to have a bag containing drug (cocaine) in their pocket, hands, mouth, or jacket (of course, we often borrow jackets from friends when we are cold, never fully searching the jacket for drugs).
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The criminal law also provides for another type of drug possession referred to as constructive possession. Constructive drug possession simply means that an individual has previous knowledge of the item coupled with the ability to access the drug. A clear example of such a case of constructive drug possession is during a traffic stop while riding as a passenger in a friend or family member s vehicle. Whether a search by the police reveals drug in the center console or glove box, the law allows the prosecuting attorney to pursue a sentence of the passenger for drug possession despite the fact that the passenger was not in actual drug possession. The State Attorney will attempt to prove that passenger knew about the illegal substance, as well as, the ability to access the drug, a concept often referred to as "control."
Constructive Possession Essentials
In a constructive drug possession case, "ability to control" the drug is a factor the country must prove, simply "knowing" drugs are present is not enough to be indicted. For instance, the law enforcement stopped a car with two occupants. The accused, a passenger, told the police officer that he knew of the presence of drugs in the car driven by the co-defendant. The court held that the accused could not be indicted for the drug possession charges because there was no evidence at all that he had the ability to control drugs. Of course, had these same facts occurred with no passenger in the car, we would not have a "constructive drug possession" case, and the court would have implied "control" since driver has sole control of the car.
Take the case of an individual, where a vehicle was stopped by law enforcement and cocaine was found in the front console of the accused s car, four inches from the driver s seat. The court reversed the sentence because the State never presented evidence, thru independent proof, that the accused person knew of the presence of drugs.
Possible Defenses to Drug Possession Charges
Often it takes a search by the police to produce a drug possession charge. The threshold issue becomes if the initial stop and subsequent search were lawful and constitutional. At our Law Office, we work closely with the client to develop the facts in order to secure the most favorable result and your unique case. It is critical to know if the stop was of your person or car. Whether the initial stop or subsequent search was illegal because of lack of probable cause or reasonable suspicion, the evidence collected from that search will be inadmissible in court as "fruit of the poisonous tree." Whether the initial stop or subsequent search appears to be suspect, we will file a motion to exclude the evidence flowing from the illegal stop, search or seizure. This could be a critical motion in your case, since winning such a motion will result in preventing the state from moving forward with your case.
Another common method of attacking a drug possession indictment in constructive possession cases is to closely scrutinize the facts concerning the accused s "knowledge" and "control" of the drugs. It may be that in your case the available evidence concerning whether you knew or should have known about the unlawful item or if you had access to such an item may be weak or nonexistent. Such weak evidence will make it difficult for the state to proceed against you in court on possession indictments.
Another important aspect in defending your drug possession involves the scientific evidence required to prove a substance is, in fact, cocaine. A police officer s field testing of the drug is not enough to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the substance is drug (unfortunately, the same is not true of a misdemeanor marijuana indictment, where no lab tests are required).
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Even if the facts are against you. We can help
At our Law Office, we understand that in many cases it may be critical to solve your case through negotiation rather then by raising defenses or challenging the facts, taking on there are no motions to dismiss or suppress available. If, after extensive discovery and depositions, negotiation may likely produce a more favorable result, then, depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, our law office will be able to structure a settlement that will best serve your interests and mitigate your potential sentences.
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The laws governing Drug Possession are shrouded with nuances and distinctions that can switch the result of your case. If you have any questions about your Drug Possession indictment it is critical to contact a highly-reliable, well-experienced and skilled criminal defense attorney who can handle your case. Please, contact our Law Office for further information and to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.