The presence of drugs at a crime scene can quickly lead to an arrest for drug possession. Yet just because there’s evidence of drugs at a crime scene doesn’t necessarily mean they belong to the person being charged.

That’s the lesson from a recent story surrounding planted drug evidence. While the story happened 2,300 miles away in Baltimore, it speaks to the importance of taking action by defending oneself from allegations of a drug crime.

In the Baltimore case, an officer discovered drugs in an alley. After reviewing body camera footage, it appears that an officer may have planted the drugs in the alley. Video footage seems to show the officer placing drugs in the alley himself only to claim to have discovered them a short time later.

The video footage was initially reviewed by a public defender. After seeing the video, the State Attorney’s Office dropped the charges.

Common defenses for a drug possession charge

Claiming that evidence was planted can be a difficult charge to prove. An officer’s testimony can be persuasive, and other officers may be unwilling to point the finger at their colleague. However, reviewing body camera footage and investigating the officer’s complain file can both strengthen a claim of planted evidence.

Planted evidence is just one way people can defend against drug charges. An unlawful search, laboratory analysis and entrapment are all possible defense strategies that could be effective depending on the circumstances of the case.

While our neighbors in Nevada and California have relaxed some of their drug laws recently, Arizona remains a state that can bring severe penalties for drug possession crimes. The consequences of a drug conviction shouldn’t be overlooked by anyone. Having a defense plan in place may help those facing drug crimes get a better outcome for themselves.