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What are the potential defenses to a drug possession charge?

On Behalf of | Sep 15, 2022 | Criminal Defense

Charges of drug possession can change the life of any Mississippi resident. However, there are some common defenses that can be used in such a case.

Understanding drug possession charges

It’s possible to be charged with drug possession at the state or federal level. A person can face such charges if they knowingly and willingly possess illicit drugs or controlled substances. The possession can be on their actual person, in a vehicle or stored on property such as a home.

Depending on the exact drug, its amount and the level of intent of the individual, drug possession could be a misdemeanor or felony. A felony charge always carries more severe penalties for a conviction.

Possible defenses to drug possession charges

There are several possible defenses that can be used in a drug possession case. Illegal search and seizure argues that the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated and that law enforcement did not have a legal right to search their person or property. For example, if there was no warrant and police searched the person’s vehicle without probable cause, this defense might work.

Another common defense is to state that the drugs did not belong to the defendant and that they belonged to someone else. This defense takes the stance that the individual was not in possession of the drugs even if they were present when they were seen.

If the drug is not a controlled substance, the defense can argue as much. If this defense is valid and the drug is something harmless, it might ultimately work to the person’s advantage.

If you have a medical exception, it could be a strong defense against drug possession charges. For example, medical marijuana can excuse you if you have legal documentation from a doctor.