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3 Ways to defend against drug charges

When you have been accused of a drug crime in Florida, you may suffer immediate and long-term consequences, even in the absence of a conviction. Being charged with a crime can be very embarrassing and can impact your personal and business reputation.

This is one of many reasons why one of your first questions when charged with a drug crime may be, "What are my defense options for fighting these charges?" Here are three possible defenses, though every case will be different and require a unique approach.

1. Challenge how the evidence was obtained.

Law enforcement agents are bound by certain regulations and strict protocol that determine what they may or may not do when it comes to searching a vehicle, residence or person. If your personal rights have been violated in the process of a search and seizure or during the booking process of an arrest, it may be possible to challenge a portion or all of the prosecution's case against you. With regard to any alleged evidence obtained in an unlawful search and seizure, the court may deem that evidence inadmissible in court.

2. Force the prosecution to prove drugs are yours.

Being accused of a crime does not necessarily mean that a conviction will be handed down. You are presumed innocent unless proved otherwise by a judge or jury. Therefore, the burden of proof lies with the prosecution and they must prove that your alleged drugs actually belonged to you.

A skilled defense attorney may be able to convince the court that, although a drug was found inside a vehicle or residence you were in, it belonged to someone else.

3. Verify that the drugs are in fact illegal.

Merely claiming that drugs were seen in your possession is not acceptable as evidence to prove guilt. The prosecution must actually present the drugs alleged to be yours.

Furthermore, scientific analysis must be performed to verify that the alleged substances are, in fact, illegal under state or federal laws. There are many substances that can be legally obtained that may look very similar to an illegal drug like cocaine or LSD. Before you can be tried in court, the prosecution must prove that they have actually seized illegal drugs as evidence.

Protecting your rights in court

These are by no means the only defense options for someone facing drug charges in Florida, and each case's defense will be as unique as the facts involved. An experienced criminal lawyer would be able to discuss other defense strategies that might be available in your situation.

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