Operating a vehicle while intoxicated is illegal. Intoxication can include both legal and illegal drugs. If your ability is impaired, a police officer may deem that you operated a vehicle while intoxicated.
Your lawyer is your best line of defense in drug possession defenses.
"State police laboratory reports are also a key component of drug DWI cases," states Anthony Vecchio Law. Reports act a testimonial evidence, and you have a right to demand proof of an unbroken chain of custody when the test was taken.
These rights are often enacted in a DWI defense.
Your lawyer's defense may revolve around:1. Crime Lab Analysis
Lab results can be analyzed and contested. Your lawyer may choose to defend your case on the basis that:
- The tests indicate a different substance. For example, cocaine presence may be something else.
The prosecution will be forced to prove that there was, in fact, an illicit drug in the person's system. Evidence will then need to be sent to a crime lab, which will analyze the results and provide a testimony to the court for the case to be moved forward.
This line of defense may be used to stall the prosecution in some circumstances, but it may also be used to prove that an illicit substance wasn't in your system.2. Unlawful Search and Seizure
You have a right to due process. This is a right under the Fourth Amendment. What this means is that you may have the drug seized if they were in plain view of an officer. For example, if you were in an automobile accident and the drugs were on the dashboard or seat, the cop may seize these drugs as evidence.
But, if you did not give an office permission to search your vehicle, you are protected from the law if the drugs were found in:
- The trunk
- Glove compartment
In essence, if your amendment rights were violated, then the actual evidence may be dismissed. This doesn't mean that lab results will not be used as evidence – they will be. Unless the officer has a warrant, they're not allowed to move about and search through your vehicle as they wish.3. Drugs Were Planted
Perhaps you have a criminal history and the police in your town harass you often. If you're pulled over, there's a chance that police officers who know you well will plant drugs in your automobile.
This scenario can and does happen.
You'll find that this defense is very difficult to prove, and an officer will provide a sworn testimony stating that they found the illicit drugs in your vehicle. An attorney can:
- File a motion with the court
- Request the police department to release a complaint file
This information will then be passed to investigators who will do their best to try and prove that the drugs were planted.4. Entrapment
Police officers are not allowed to entrap a victim. Law enforcement can set up a sting operation, but they're not permitted to:
- Induce a crime
- Pressure a suspect to commit a crime
More often than not, entrapment occurs when a person purchases the drugs from an undercover cop or someone working with the authorities. If you're pressured into breaking the law, this can be used as a first line of defense against your drug possession charges.
Medical marijuana being legal in many states may also be used as a defense. This defense can be used in states that allow medical marijuana and have legalized the drug for medical use. The states will require:
- Doctor recommendations
- Evidence of marijuana being a medical necessity
If drug possession charges are placed against you, a qualified attorney will be able to build a defense that the prosecution will need to prove is invalid.