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What are common drug possession defenses?

| May 10, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

An arrest for drug possession could lead to severe legal troubles. Wisconsin law establishes felony charges for those who possess enough drugs to reach an “intent to distribute” level. All defendants accused of drug possession still maintain their Constitutional rights, which may factor into how a case plays out. Ultimately, a prosecutor’s case must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Defenses to drug possession charges

Did the accused know he or she had drugs in their possession? If not, such a fact could serve as a defense in court. Someone with marijuana or cocaine in his or her pocket likely knew drugs were where. What about drugs in the trunk of a car or a box in a home’s basement? The possibility exists that the defendant might not have known about them. Possession does require knowledge about the drugs and an intent to control them.

What if the drugs belonged to someone else? If the police discover drugs in a vehicle and there are five people in the car, all five may face charges. However, the prosecutor must prove constructive possession of the drugs, which might not be possible with a particular defendant.

Possession of a controlled substance without a prescription could get someone into legal trouble. When that person proves he or she has a prescription, then the charges may end up dropped.

Constitutional rights issues

The police must have probable cause to stop and search someone. Warrants become necessary with specific searches. Coercing confessions is illegal. Ultimately, if the police violate someone’s Constitutional rights, a judge could suppress the evidence. Without evidence, a case would doubtfully go forward.

Posing questions about criminal law/OWI and drug charges to an attorney may be helpful. Those facing charges might discuss their defense strategies or plea bargain options.