Defending Drug Possession Charges in Milford
The most basic drug crime that a person can be charged with in Milford is drug possession, or possession of a controlled or illegal substance. Despite this fact, however, drug possession can still carry a number of serious penalties making it important that this offense is taken seriously and a Milford drug possession lawyer is contacted to assist in building a strong defense. In many cases, individuals charged with possession have been found possessing certain substances through inappropriate search and seizure tactics, in which case their charges should be dropped. Therefore it is important to have an experienced legal advocate on your side when facing this offense.
Process of Building a Defense
A lawyer has a three-fold, three-pronged approach. The first thing to look at is whether there are any legal defenses. A legal defense goes back to the idea associated with an illegal search or someone not being read their Miranda rights. The lawyer looks for a legal defense with the goal of discovering any ways to suppress certain pieces of information.
The second step is for the lawyer to determine if the prosecutor can prove the case. In examining potential factual defenses against the prosecution, the lawyer will be checking to see if the prosecution can establish the elements of the crime that have been charged with the evidence that they have.
The final prong is to establish a social defense. Very often, a social defense occurs in the context of a possession or drug case. With a social defense, the lawyer addresses the underlying issues that resulted in the alleged criminal conduct. In drug cases, a defense lawyer often advises their client to seek treatment and to provide an evaluation of the treatment history. The lawyer then provides the state attorney with information about their client’s treatment to demonstrate that the defendant is doing well, is taking the charges seriously, and is addressing the underlying concerns that led to the case.
The goal behind the social defense is to prove to the court and the prosecutor that this behavior will not happen again. The lawyer uses that to demonstrate why the client should be granted access to a program or to reduce the consequences associated with any criminal conviction.
Every case is different and the three-pronged approach can be adapted to each individual case.
Constitutional issues frequently come up in connection with drug cases, often due to issues regarding the search process.
The Fourth Amendment provides that American citizens have the right to not be searched or seized without a warrant. In drug possession cases, there are usually stop and search issues, and Constitutional concerns tend to arise as the result of improper search.
For example, when an individual is pulled over in a motor vehicle and the police search that motor vehicle and find narcotics, there could very well be an issue that the police did not have the necessary suspicion to justify pulling the car over and searching it. In this situation, there would be a possible Constitutional claim that the search was illegal, because the police would need to have seen or smelled reasonably factual evidence that they had grounds to search the car. These types of claims come up very often in drug cases and are something a drug possession lawyer should evaluate when assessing the case.
Diversion or Alternative Sentencing Programs
Any time an individual is charged with a possession offense, there are various pre-trial diversion programs the individual may be eligible for. These programs can have a very beneficial outcome of providing treatment to the individual as well as obtaining a complete dismissal as though the arrest never happened.
Unfortunately for many people facing drug possession charges, the diversion programs are granted at the sole discretion of the court. There is no guarantee that a particular judge will grant an individual access to these programs, and there is no right that a person is entitled to have that program awarded to them.
For this reason, it is very important that anytime someone is charged with a drug offense they evaluate their options and put together a game plan to obtain a program if they are eligible for any of the pre-trial programs available in Milford.