When faced with drug charges in Illinois, you may be looking at severe penalties. A felony conviction could lead to prison time and hefty fines. Even a misdemeanor offense will have a major impact on your life and future.
You have many important rights in the criminal process, including the right to mount a defense with the help of an attorney. You should never just assume that the state has a surefire case. You may have multiple potential defenses. Here are a few.
1. Lack of possession
In drug possession cases, the prosecution must prove actual or constructive possession of drugs. Constructive possession can get tricky. For example, a passenger in a vehicle may claim that the drugs belonged to the vehicle owner, even if the police discovered drugs under their seat. The situation also gets complicated when it involves multiple people in a vehicle.
2. Illegal search or seizure
Law enforcement must respect your constitutional rights. When it comes to drug charges, a high number of defenses focus on illegal searches and seizures, including illegal traffic stops. An effective challenge to an illegal search or seizure can result in the evidence getting thrown out, which in turn can lead to dismissal of the charges.
3. Technical challenges
The state must adhere to meticulous procedures when it comes to handling evidence. They must establish proper chain of custody to ensure that the evidence wasn’t tainted or tampered with. They must also comply with a host of procedural rules to ensure that your rights aren’t violated. Any number of technical challenges may be possible as grounds to undermine the state’s case.
Getting arrested for drug charges does not always equate to serving time. Seeking the right legal help from a proven defense attorney may lead to a reduction or elimination of charges.