Are you facing criminal charges for possession of drugs? Were they found in your home, on your person, or maybe even in your car? Drug possession charges can be serious depending on the number of drugs found and the type of drugs. You could be facing probation, fines, and even significant jail time. The good news is that just because you're facing charges doesn't mean you'll be convicted. In fact, it's possible the prosecution could drop or reduce the charges.
Why would they do this? Because while prosecutors seek to convict people of crimes, they usually don't want to go to trial and risk an acquittal. Very often, if they think there's a chance the trial could result in acquittal, they will drop the charges or agree to a plea deal with reduced charges. The key is to increase the odds of an acquittal by raising reasonable doubt before the trial. If the prosecution believes a jury may believe your reasonable doubt, they could have an incentive to negotiate. Below are three ways to raise doubt about a conviction:
Question the search process
Police either need a warrant or your permission to search your home or car. If they conducted a search without either of these, then you may have an opportunity to raise doubt about whether the search was legal. This often applies to car searches. For example, a police officer may tell you to get out of the car and say something vague like, "I'm going to take a look." If you don't object, they interpret that as your consent. However, your attorney could argue that they didn't specifically ask for your permission and you didn't give them consent to search.
Document chain of custody
Once drugs are removed from your home or vehicle, they follow a long path through the criminal justice system. They're moved from police officers to detectives to the evidence room and even to a lab. Every step in that process is supposed to be documented in detail. If there are gaps in the documentation, that could raise questions about whether the drugs are even yours. How do they know which drugs you're facing charges for if they don't know what happened to them? Believe it or not, this happens more than you would expect, so it's a viable way to challenge charges.
Audit the lab
Another surprisingly common occurrence is the rate of false positives from drug testing labs in police stations. The lab has to verify that the drugs collected from your home or car actually are illegal drugs. However, if the lab has a record of false positives, your lawyer could use that record to raise a reasonable doubt about whether the lab's testing is accurate. Again, that could be enough to make the prosecution questions whether it is worth going to trial.
Talk to a drug crime lawyer about your options. They may be able to raise doubts and negotiate a plea that helps you avoid jail or get a reduced sentence.