Many people are charged with drug possession every year. While some of these charges are for more significant amounts, many cases involve minimal amounts of a controlled substance. In Georgia, the criminal court handles a lot of small drug cases. It is possible to fight drug possession charges and win.
While it is challenging to defend someone on drug possession charges, an experienced, aggressive attorney makes it possible. Filing numerous document requests, depositions, and other types of requests can eventually wear the prosecutor down. He or she would prefer to reduce the sentence or drop the charges than continue to handle the paperwork for the numerous requests on a small drug possession charge.
If the prosecutor does not provide all of the materials requested during discovery, then the defendant’s attorney can request dismissal of all of the charges against his or her client.
In Lieu of Programs
Sometimes it is possible to go through an in lieu of program. These types of programs allow fines and rehabilitation to be used instead of jail time or a conviction. After completing the program, the charges and any record of being convicted are officially eliminated. However, if the accused fails their treatment program and fails to remain sober, the criminal penalties return.
Challenge how the evidence was obtained
In some cases, you may have to challenge how the police got the evidence. You try to show that the officer lacked probable cause for the stop or the search. Generally, this part of the prosecutor’s case is the weakest. Officers may have asked to search, but they could have used a tone of voice or phrased it so that it seemed like there was not a choice. If the officer searched without probable cause, your permission or a warrant, then the evidence will not be admissible in court.
Were the drugs in your possession yours?
Establishing that the item in your possession is yours is another common weakness. Circumstances may make it appear that an item in your possession is yours, but it may not be yours. Suppose you borrowed your friend’s car to go to the store. When a police officer pulled you over for a traffic violation, the officer found probable cause to search the vehicle. Drugs found in the search may or may not belong to you. The drugs may have already been in the care when you borrowed it. The borrowed car makes it difficult to prove possession beyond a reasonable doubt.
Prove the item in your possession is a drug
Another defense option is to make the prosecutor prove that the substance found is a drug. This type of defense involves challenging lab reports, objecting to the substance’s identification, and forcing the prosecutor to prove that the substance is a drug. The prosecutor will incur increased time and money spent on the case. Plus, criminal cases are often rescheduled. Rescheduling means the prosecutor has to reschedule the lab tech to show up in court and rearrange the technician’s days off.
While many people think of drug possession as a minor crime, in Georgia, it can carry severe consequences. Drug possession convictions can lead to jail time, probation, rehabilitation, fines, and drug screening.
To prevent severe repercussions from happening, make sure to consult with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. If you or a loved one have been charged with drug possession in Georgia, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney such as Tyler Moffitt to achieve a favorable outcome to your case.
Tyler Moffitt is a Family Law and Criminal Defense Attorney who practices Carrollton, LaGrange, and Columbus, GA. He graduated from John Marshall Law School, and has been practicing for several years now. Tyler Moffitt takes great honor in defending the accused. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.