If you have been accused of a federal drug crime, it may be in your best interest to contact an experienced controlled substances lawyer. A Chattanooga attorney could closely examine the facts of your federal drug case through an honest and confidential conversation, and ultimately help you create a strong set of defense strategies to weaken the prosecution’s case.
It is imperative that the defendant remain honest throughout the consultation process. This allows the attorney to piece together a complete picture of the situation and begin to build a strong defense. Learning as much nuanced information as possible about the investigation, arrest, and seizure of the controlled substances could give a lawyer the ability to drive a wedge of reasonable doubt into the charges the defendant is facing.
This information could be crucial to a Chattanooga attorney as the foundation of a federal drug charge defense. In certain drug cases, there may be no defense. This can be a difficult conversation to have, but it can be beneficial for a defendant to understand the reality of their circumstances and make intelligent decisions to minimize the impact of the charges. If they have a complete understanding of the facts of the case, a skilled attorney in the area could potentially mitigate the penalties associated with drug crimes under federal law.
The first line of defense in a drug case rests on the defendant’s constitutional protections. The most commonly used defense strategy in a drug case is the Fourth Amendment right to be free from an unreasonable search and seizure. Law enforcement must have a reasonable belief that a crime has occurred and must be able to support this with evidence to seize property. Even if the controlled substances that the police seize are illegally possessed, the investigating officers must still abide by the Constitution. If they violate an accused person’s Fourth Amendment rights, they may create a situation where the seized evidence is inadmissible in court.
Defense attorneys may also look to attack the two pillars of the drug charge itself: the illegality of the drug in question and the defendant’s possession of it. One of the most common ways to attack a drug charge is by challenging the true nature of the substance.
The state has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the substance is the specific drug law enforcement believed it to be, such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine or marijuana. This is most commonly done through lab testing, and the state must maintain a chain of custody from the seizure of the substance through its return to evidence.
When building a defense against federal drug charges, an experienced local lawyer may attack the lab results or may conduct independent testing. Attacking the chain of custody may also lead to the exclusion of evidence.
The other pillar to attack is possession itself. Actual possession is less commonly challenged, but attacking constructive possession is possible in some cases. Constructive possession refers to cases where drugs were found at a location the accused may be connected to by circumstantial evidence. The defense counsel could attempt to create reasonable doubt by showing that other individuals had access to the substance.
Federal drug charges can be complex. It could be beneficial to understand each component of the government’s case to develop appropriate and aggressive strategies defend against their charges.
If you have been charged with federal drug crimes, a Chattanooga lawyer could help you build a powerful defense strategy. Experienced legal counsel could help mitigate the consequences associated with this offense and fight for a positive outcome in your case.