Drug use is a major problem in the United States. It does not discriminate. The people who get addicted could be your family, close friends or even coworkers. Your financial status also does not matter. It can happen to anyone of any profession at any time. So, what do you do if police suspect that you have drugs in your possession and are arrested?
The U.S. spends roughly $50 billion each year to fight the war on drugs. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Uniform Crime Report, in 2016, the number of people arrested for violating the drug laws was over 1.57 million. That is one drug arrest every 20 seconds in the United States. That number is shocking.
So, what are your options if you are charged? It depends on the circumstances. Whether the drugs were for someone else or your own use is a major factor in a possible defense. A drug arrest is a major problem that can have negative effects on your life. Drug penalties can range from you paying substantial fines to something much worse. You could lose your freedom if you are convicted and sentenced to jail. Depending on the conviction that could be years. It also depends on what state you live in and the charges against you.
How you can fight drug charges
Some of your possible defenses include:
- You could use the “entrapment” defense. You could say that the police officer abused his power and tried to trap you into purchasing drugs, something that you would not normally do.
- You could say the officers planted the drugs on you during a search but this may be hard to prove in court.
- You could ask the prosecutor to produce the drugs for you in court. If the drugs go missing, it could work in your favor and the case may be dismissed.
- You could say the police officer violated your Fourth Amendment rights against unlawful search and seizure. You did not give the officer permission to search your possessions, like your trunk for example, and anything they find could be considered inadmissible or the case could be dismissed. However, this does not apply if the police officer could see the drugs in plain view.
- You could use the “unwitting possession” defense. You had no idea that the drugs were even on you.
If you are ever arrested for suspicion of drugs, it is good to know your rights.