October 9th, 2020 by Attorney Dan Carman
If you’ve been arrested or are under investigation, you may wonder, how can I get off on drug charges? Arrests involving illegal drugs are common in Kentucky. Over the years, we’ve handled just about every state and federal drug charge. We’ve learned from that experience and can put that knowledge to work for you.
How Do Drug Charges Work?
To answer how do drug charges work, it helps to look at the laws that cover just about everything related to illegal drugs. They include:
- Paraphernalia: Equipment used to produce, prepare, inject, inhale, or conceal illegal drugs. It’s unlawful to possess, sell, import, or export drug paraphernalia.
- Possession: It’s a crime to possess any controlled substance like marijuana, cocaine, or heroin. A charge may be simple possession or with the intent to distribute.
- Manufacturing and Delivery: This covers any step in the production or delivery process of an illegal drug.
- Trafficking, or Distribution: It’s illegal to sell, transport, and import illegal, controlled substances like marijuana and cocaine. Possessing large amounts of an illegal drug along with substantial amounts of cash and/or guns may be used as evidence of intent to sell the narcotics, so there may be a distribution charge.
- Dealing: Selling illegal drugs on a smaller scale than trafficking or distribution.
How drug charges work could include your being followed by officers, an informant’s giving law enforcement information about you, or photos or videos of you engaging in a drug-related crime. That may lead to an arrest, with or without a search and seizure of physical evidence.
How Do You Get Out of a Drug Charge?
Defenses to a drug charge include those that may apply to any crime and those specific to drug crimes. How to fight a drug charge is based on:
- The facts of the case
- Which charges are pending
- The applicable legal and constitutional protections.
Unlawful Search or Seizure May Help You Beat a Drug Charge
The Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution guarantees our right to be free from unreasonable government searches and seizures. Law enforcement must not search or seize your property without first having probable cause to believe that a crime is or was being committed. If an officer illegally searches or seizes your property, any evidence obtained should not be excluded from a trial. Without that evidence, the prosecution may not be able to proceed. The charge may be dismissed so you would beat the drug charge.
If They’re Not Your Drugs, You Could Get Off on the Drug Charges
If there is more than one person involved, this may be a valid defense. The burden of proof is on the prosecution. If the drugs are found in a place where you and others had access, it may be hard to prove they’re your drugs.
Violating Your Miranda Rights
If you’re under arrest and make a statement before an officer informs you of your right to remain silent, it might not be properly used against you in court. Your rights under the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution include the protection that, if you are in law enforcement custody, you must be told of your right to not make self-incriminating statements before being questioned. If this right is violated, you may be able to beat your drug charge.
Being a Victim of Entrapment Can Help You Fight a Drug Charge
This happens if an officer or someone working with law enforcement (like an informant) pressures you to commit a crime that you otherwise would have been unlikely or unwilling to commit. Our attorneys will fight your drug charge aggressively if you are the victim of entrapment.
Crime Lab Analysis Mistakes
Law enforcement may claim that it found an illegal drug, but are they correct? The prosecution must prove that what is involved is a controlled substance, by sending it to a crime lab for analysis. A lab analyst must testify at trial and affirm the truthfulness of the findings.
Without this proof a case will probably be dismissed. Any number of issues may come up. It needs to be established that the substance at the scene was tested. How a test was performed, or the accuracy of tests or equipment used, could be disputed.
Proving Knowledge or Intent
The prosecution must prove you were in a specific state of mind. Were you aware you had the drugs? Did you intentionally sell a particular drug? If the prosecution can’t prove these elements, the drug charges should be dropped.
The Presence of the Actual Drugs
Can the prosecution produce the actual drugs that are the basis for the charges? If they lost track of what they found or it has been tampered with, altered, lost, or stolen, the charge will probably be dismissed.
Diversion and Deferred Prosecution Can Lead to Dismissal of Drug Charges
If you are facing charges of possession of a controlled substance, you may be eligible for a drug diversion program. Deferred prosecution could also be an option. You would need to agree to terms set by the prosecution and the judge. If you’re suffering from substance abuse or addiction, you would probably need to be successfully treated before the charges would be dismissed.
Beat a Drug Charge with an Alibi
If charges are based on an allegation that you were at a particular place, at a specific time, doing something illegal, and you have evidence that you were elsewhere, doing something else, you could have the drug charges dropped.
How Do You Get Out of a Drug Charge? Work with the Right Attorney.
If you’re arrested for a drug crime, your freedom and future are at stake. Your head may be spinning with questions. How can I get off on drug charges? Can I beat a drug charge?
You are innocent until proven guilty. The prosecution must show that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s a high standard that can’t be met in many drug cases.
Bad things can happen to good people, including you. This is especially true if you’re dealing with substance abuse or addiction. If you have been arrested for a drug offense, an experienced drug defense attorney can help you fight a drug charge.
Dan Carman has decades of experience representing people arrested for drug crimes. He practices law in all Kentucky courts as well as federal trial and appeals courts covering the state. You can trust him because he is direct, honest, and forthright.
If you want to get off on your drug charge, have a strong, aggressive defense lawyer fighting for you. Contact Dan Carman today at (859) 685-1055.