Illegal drug possession is one of the most common criminal charges leveraged against citizens in Pennsylvania. Depending on the type and volume of substance found in your possession, you could face a misdemeanor or felony conviction resulting in incarceration and a hefty fine.
The justice system is difficult to navigate, so it is important to understand the law as well as potential defense strategies for fighting your allegations.
Fourth Amendment violations
The Fourth Amendment of the Pennsylvania Constitution protects against unreasonable search and seizure, which limits an officer’s authority during an investigation of your person or property. If you are a victim of a probable cause violation by law enforcement, then you may have a valid defense.
If you find yourself in custody for drugs that are not yours, then you may be an unwitting party to the crime of possession. Perhaps police find paraphernalia in your home that belongs to a friend, and you can prove you had no knowledge of it. You may be able to present an effective criminal defense to secure an acquittal.
Official misconduct or weak evidence
If you can produce proof of entrapment, planted evidence or corruption, then you may have an excellent chance of beating your charge. Additionally, if the scientific analysis is not definitive, the prosecution’s case may not be strong enough to convict you.
While there are more severe crimes than possession, the consequences can impact the rest of your life. Therefore, you should be aggressive in your approach to your defense strategy.