Receiving drug possession charges in Arizona is a very serious matter, despite the much looser marijuana laws in many of the our neighbor states. If you receive drug charges, it is essential that you begin building a strong legal defense as quickly as possible. When you dawdle, your prosecutor has that much more time to build a case against you. This could cause you to miss out on important opportunities to challenge the evidence presented.
Even if you believe that evidence against you is fairly compelling, it is important to understand the rights you have. Those facing charges have tools at their disposal that could improve the chances of getting the charges dropped or lessening the consequences of a conviction. Many defendants do not realize that prosecutors regularly present evidence that is far from airtight. A sense of hopelessness can lead to not considering all their defensive options thoroughly.
Those who want professional legal guidance as they build a defense can consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands the nuances involved in fighting drug possession charges in Arizona. An attorney only advises defendants of their rights, and may also help assess the circumstances under which the charges arose and identify potential weaknesses in the evidence. A strong defense is absolutely crucial to protecting defendants' rights and future privileges, especially considering the imbalanced severity of many drug possession punishments.
Drug possession has two primary components, the illegality of the substance and the nature of the possession. Even if an officer discovers drugs under circumstances that may regularly indicate possession, defendants may have grounds to claim that they did not actually possess the drugs. For instance, if police enter a person's home and find drugs, they may charge an unwitting individual with possession . There are many reasons why drugs might be in the house without the knowledge or consent of the defendant, such as being left by a roommate or recent houseguest.
Contesting officer conduct
Similarly, if police violate a defendant's rights during an arrest, the defendant may contest the charges based on the officer's misconduct. Some officers search vehicles without warrants, probable cause or the consent of the drivers. In some cases, this may constitute a violation of the defendants' Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures.
Challenging the nature of the evidence
Even if the circumstances of the arrest do not yield useful defense opportunities, a suspect might be able to object to the evidence itself by demanding laboratory testing to determine its composition. If these lab results do not yield the same results as the police allege, the court may drop the charges. This defense has the added benefit of requiring prosecutors to physically produce the evidence for testing. If the evidence goes missing or is improperly stored, cases may quickly crumble.
Be mindful to act quickly and directly to protect your future. While we may soon see a looser, more reasonable approach to drug laws in Arizona, those currently facing charges are still in very serious danger of life-altering punishment.