Being arrested for possessing drugs is one of the worst, most humiliating experiences you could have. You may naturally worry about how such an arrest will affect your reputation, your career and your freedom.
Fortunately, you have the right to defend yourself vigorously if accused of drug possession. Here are a few possible defenses to charges of drug possession in Tennessee.
Illegal search and seizure
According to the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, officials must execute procedures related to search and seizure in a lawful way before an arrest can take place. Issues related to these procedures are relatively common in cases involving drug possession.
Police may legally seize illegal drugs that are easy to spot — such as those on the dashboard of a motor vehicle — and use them as evidence. Meanwhile, if authorities discovered drugs in a car trunk after prying the trunk open using a crowbar — without the suspect's permission — the prosecution cannot present them as evidence. In this situation, you can expect officials to dismiss your drug possession charge.
The drugs are someone else's
If you are defending yourself against a drug possession charge, you can simply claim that the drugs that authorities discovered were not yours. Alternatively, you could argue that you had no clue that the drugs were present in your car or apartment, for instance.
A police officer planted the drugs
This is yet another possible drug possession defense that may work in your particular situation. This can certainly be hard to prove, as police officers' sworn testimonies carry a great deal of weight in court. In addition, police officers might not be eager to rat out their fellow officers. However, it may be possible to obtain the given police officer's complaint file, in which case those who have previously made complaints against the officer could be interviewed to help you to make your case.
Your rights if facing a drug possession charge
If you face a charge of drug possession and proceed to trial to fight this charge, an attorney will scrutinize the prosecution's evidence with the goal of finding holes in it. An attorney's ultimate goal is to help you attain the most personally favorable outcome given the circumstances surrounding your drug arrest. In addition, an attorney will work to make sure that your rights remain protected during each stage of the criminal proceedings.