Drug possession charges are never something to take lightly, whether a person faces allegations of a first-time offense or already has prior convictions. Here in Georgia, the laws that apply to drug possession are still fairly strict when compared to some other states, and a first-time drug possession conviction can change a suspect’s entire future in an instant.
If you face drug possession charges, it is wise to use every resource you have to build a strong legal defense as soon as possible. Without a legal defense, you have very little chance of avoiding harsh punishment that is often far worse than the alleged crime. A drug conviction can make it difficult or impossible to find a lucrative job (or even a livable job), find housing and move forward in your education. Protecting your rights right now protects your rights and opportunities in the future.
Reviewing the evidence against you
One of the best things that a defendant can do to build their defense is review the evidence that the prosecution has against them. However, obtaining this evidence is not always easy, and it is hardly ever a quick process. Defendants who procrastinate around building their defense often run out of time to review the evidence, giving a large advantage to their prosecutor. The sooner you begin the process necessary to review the evidence against you, the better chances you have of seeing your charges reduced or dismissed.
It is also important to consider any evidence you can find that contradicts the version of events the prosecution presents about your arrest. For instance, police may charge you with possession after finding drugs or suspected drugs in your home, but an item may not belong to you simply because it is there. Another person may easily have left drugs in your home without your knowledge or permission, which can happen frequently in homes where many people visit.
The officers who arrested you may also have violated your rights during the arrest, so it is important to review officer conduct as you build your defense. While police brutality and other violations of the bill of rights are not always recognized in court, all potential defenses are worth considering.
Contesting the evidence
Many defendants find it is useful to push back against the evidence presented or claimed by prosecutors. One simple way to do this is demanding that the drugs you allegedly possessed at the time of your arrest undergo laboratory verification. This places a burden on both the police who arrested you and the prosecutors arguing for your conviction by requiring that they produce the evidence for the testing. Sometimes, evidence goes missing and police cannot provide it. If they do produce the physical evidence, laboratory testing may return results you can use in your defense.
However you choose to build your defense, you must begin building it as soon as you possibly can. Simply waiting another day or through the weekend may mean the difference between a conviction and walking free. With a strong legal strategy, you can face the charges against you confidently and ensure that your rights remain secure throughout the process.