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Defending yourself against drug possession charges

If you're stopped by a police officer and have drugs in your possession at the time, you could be facing fines or other penalties. You have the right to speak to your attorney and defend yourself, which is a good idea in this case. The possession of drugs can quickly become a claim that you intended to sell them or give them to others, and this could lead to charges that are much more serious than a charge for possession alone.

If you decide to plead not guilty, then you will have a few options for your defense. One is the defense of unlawful search and seizure. Under the terms of the U.S. Constitution, you are owed the right to due process of law. That means that your vehicle can't be searched without a reason.

For instance, if you have drugs on your front seat, the officer can see those can take them. However, if you're stopped for a traffic infraction and have no evidence of drug use, there's no reason for an officer to look in your trunk for drugs without your permission.

You can also argue that the drugs aren't yours. Sometimes, passengers may be the ones who bring drugs into a vehicle, and it's fair to claim that you didn't know that they had them or that they were left in your vehicle. If you have passengers in your vehicle at the time of a stop, it may be hard for the prosecution to prove that you were the person who owned the drugs that were found.

Source: FindLaw, "Drug Possession Defenses," accessed May 13, 2016

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