Drug charges come in many shapes and sizes, but they all have the power to derail your life. While Minnesota does allow for medical marijuana usage under certain circumstances, the penalties for drug convictions remain fairly stiff, even for relatively minor offenses.
If you recently received drug charges, you should do everything in your power to fight these charges. In most cases, the most effective way to fight your drug charges is to enlist the representation of an experienced, aggressive defense attorney who understands how to use the law to fight for you.
Here in Golden Valley, our relatively small community can make it difficult for anyone who receives a drug conviction to get out from under its shadow. If you don't want your drug conviction to follow you for years to come, there is no time to waste building a strong defense.
Depending on the nature of the allegations against you and the procedures followed by the arresting officer, you may have a number of options for fighting the charges.
Were your constitutional rights violated?
Courts often give disturbing flexibility to officers' conduct when it comes to drug charges. However, there are still protocols and rules that officers should observe when searching an individual or vehicle. An experienced attorney can help you evaluate the arresting officer's conduct to identify any ways that he or she possibly violated your rights.
It is important to note that an officer may not automatically search your vehicle if an officer pulls you over. In order to search your vehicle, an officer must first have some reason to suspect you of having some illegal substance or items in the vehicle.
However, in Minnesota, the standards for reasonable suspicion are fairly low. If, for instance, an officer pulls you over and smells marijuana, a judge may agree that this constitutes reasonable suspicion.
Still, in the absence of reasonable suspicion, you do not have to allow an officer to search your vehicle. Should they choose to search your vehicle without cause, evidence uncovered may be inadmissible in court.
Are the charges faulty?
In some cases, the evidence against you is weaker than it seems at first. When you consult with an experienced attorney, they can help you evaluate the strength of the evidence against you. In some cases, the prosecution may only have circumstantial evidence that is far from airtight.
For instance, if you live in a home where a party took place and police charge you with possession because they found drugs in your home, you may reasonably claim that the drugs do not belong to you.
Similarly, it is often wise to demand that the drugs taken as evidence undergo proper laboratory testing. This forces the prosecution to produce the drugs themselves and prove that the substance matches the charges.
If the substance does not match the charges, you gain leverage. Likewise, if the prosecution cannot produce the evidence in the event of a clerical error, you may see the charges dismissed altogether.
Don't wait to build a strong defense
Even if you believe that the evidence against you is airtight, you probably have more options than you think. However, you won't know exactly which next steps to take until you seek the guidance of an experienced defense attorney.
However you choose to fight your charges, do not wait to begin building your defense. Each day that you wait is another day the prosecution has to build a case against you.