Understanding The Components Of A Drug Crime Defense

A drug crime defense lawyer has to look at each case as a collection of components. There are elements regarding the legality of the charges, physical evidence, and police procedure that all matter. Here is how a drug crime defense attorney might factor these components into your case.


One of the first questions in any drug case is whether the charges are fundamentally legal. Suppose a cop got overly enthusiastic about charging you even though you had a prescription for a drug. Like a normal human, you might not carry all of your prescriptions around with you. The cop decides you look loopy and charges you. 

In this kind of case, you can argue that you were using the drugs in question legally. You might have had a prescription for a painkiller, for example. A drug crime defense lawyer can present the prescription at the arraignment and even ask your doctor to testify. Your counsel would then ask the judge to dismiss the charges on the grounds that your usage was legal.

Depending on your state's laws, your case may be at the edge of legality. For example, many states have legalized the possession of marijuana. However, they often still have limits on how much you can legally possess. These kinds of cases can get into arguments over a few grams, but it's the state's job to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that you committed a crime.

Physical Evidence

The evidence is a big deal in a typical drug crime case. Were the alleged drugs even actually drugs? Yes, it sounds like a joke, but the cops do occasionally bust people over white powder only to discover that the alleged cocaine is confectioner's sugar.

Similarly, the police, prosecutors, and drug labs do mishandle evidence. The state has to show an unbroken chain of custody from the time they seized the alleged drugs to the time of a trial. If someone at the testing lab mixed your sample with other evidence, a drug crime attorney will jump on that as proof the state has no evidence tying you to the alleged offense.

Police and Prosecutorial Procedures

Finally, the way the government handles the case matters. If a cop removed drugs from your car during an unjustified traffic stop, your counsel will ask the court to exclude the evidence. Similarly, if the prosecution spelled your name wrong on the court forms, your attorney will request a dismissal of the charges.

Contact a drug crime defense attorney like Gary L. Morris Attorney at Law for more information.