If you are charged with a drug possession conviction, the penalties are severe, to the point of heavy fines, substantial jail time, and a permanent mark on your criminal record. New York courts are determined to punish you to the maximum extent allowable by the law. These consequences can alter the course of your life, and ultimately make future employment, housing, and educational opportunities much more difficult for you. Follow along to learn how a proficient York County, PA drug crime attorney can work with you to defend your case and minimize or erase the charges against you altogether.
What common defenses can I use for my drug possession conviction in Pennsylvania?
For a chance at having a strong defense against your conviction, it is crucial that you understand the laws surrounding illicit drug possession. For this, read the following arguments:
- The authorities conducted an improper search and seizure: only certain criteria allow authorities to search you or your property for illegal drugs. Such circumstances include if they have a valid search warrant or if the drugs are found in plain view. If not done in this legal manner, you can challenge it and the New York court will exclude this evidence from the trial.
- The drugs in question belong to another party, or you otherwise did not know they were in your possession: however, this is a difficult argument to make, as the prosecutor will only have to counter that you had control of or access to the drugs.
- The crime lab analysis was done improperly: this report must be complete without errors or discrepancies. For this, you can require a crime lab analyst to testify.
- The chain of custody was done improperly: this means that the authorities failed to secure the illicit drugs in an evidence room or locker. So, if they are not able to present them in the trial, you can argue their existence. But if presented, you can still argue that they were mishandled throughout the course of the investigation and ultimately they are not the same ones taken from you.
- The authorities practiced entrapment: this means that the authorities harassed or threatened you into committing a drug crime that you otherwise would not have committed.
- The drug in question was medical marijuana: in the state of Pennsylvania, medical marijuana has been legalized. You can prove your medical need in the trial with a doctor’s signed recommendation or note.
For assistance with building an applicable defense, do not hesitate in reaching out to a talented York County, PA criminal defense attorney today.
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