If you have been charged with drug possession in California, distribution, or any other type of drug charge in Orange County, you are potentially looking at jail time and expensive fines. If you are convicted, you will have a permanent record and may have difficulty re-entering the community and finding employment after serving your sentence. To succeed in defending yourself against drug charges, you will need an effective legal strategy. The best way to determine your legal strategy is to speak to an experienced California criminal defense attorney.
- Your Constitutional Rights Were Violated
Law enforcement officers are required to comply with your constitutional rights when they investigate you and arrest you for drug crimes. If your constitutional rights are violated, your attorney may decide to pursue a legal strategy that asks the court to dismiss any evidence gathered from an unconstitutional search or seizure. Without this evidence, the prosecutor may not be able to prove that you committed the drug crime with which you’ve been charged. Most prosecutors rely on evidence such as the controlled substance itself and drug-related paraphernalia, such as large amounts of cash and scales.
If the law enforcement officers didn’t follow proper procedures when obtaining evidence against you, the evidence might be considered inadmissible in court. Specifically, the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures of a person’s property. To search your property, police officers need probable cause that you committed a crime or a search warrant. If they did not meet those requirements, your attorney could ask the court to throw out all the evidence they gained against you during the unconstitutional search.
- You Didn’t Have Access to or Control of the Drugs
To convict you of a drug crime in Orange County, the prosecutor must prove that you were in actual or constructive possession of a controlled substance. Suppose you did not have control over the illicit substance. In that case, the prosecutor would have difficulty convicting you. For example, if the illicit substance belonged to your roommate and you didn’t know about it, you can argue that you were not in control of the drugs found on the property.
- Procedural Errors and Chain of Custody Problems
Many different types of procedural errors can happen when law enforcement officers arrest someone and interrogate them. For example, when police officers do not inform a suspect of their Miranda rights, including the right to remain silent before interrogating them, they violate the suspect’s constitutional rights. The incriminating statements made by the suspect can be stricken because they were unconstitutionally obtained. Similarly, law enforcement officers must follow the chain of custody rules for the evidence they gather.
Reach Out to an Experienced Attorney
These are just a few examples of legal defense strategies your attorney may decide to use in your drug case. Orange County defense attorney William W. Bruzzo has extensive experience representing clients charged with drug crimes in Orange County. After your free initial consultation, he will investigate your case and develop an effective legal strategy for your defense. Don’t delay. Contact Bruzzo Law today to schedule your free case evaluation.