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What is the missing drugs defense?

Drug possession charges can carry some of the heaviest penalties of any non-violent conviction, and the news is constantly reminding us that America has an exceptionally high rate of incarceration for drug offenses. Even though the public attitude toward some drugs seems to be shifting, the law is slow to follow, and the new presidential administration has expressed that the previous administration's lax approach to enforcing federal marijuana law is not likely to continue. Considering these factors, you should not make the mistake of thinking that a drug possession charge should be taken lightly.

There are a number of ways to fight drug possession charges. Usually, a defense attorney will begin by identifying any aspects of the arrest that may be challenged, such as elements of proper procedure that the arresting officer failed to follow, or ways that the defendant may have had his or her rights violated. However, even if the arrest and charges were done by the book, law enforcement still must maintain the physical evidence properly, which may provide some leverage.

In order for the case to move forward, the defendant can insist that the prosecution produces the actual drugs that he or she was charged with having. While this is a bit of a gamble, if the police did not keep proper records, then they may be unable to produce the evidence, which can grant the defendant significant leverage, and possibly be grounds for dismissal of the charges.

No matter what the facts of your drug charges may be, you deserve a strong defense. Even if you did possess drugs at the time of the arrest, the charges should be fought to preserve your future and your ability to move past this mistake. Drug charges have a way of hanging around and halting many opportunities, which no one should suffer through. With proper legal counsel, you can ensure that your rights remain protected as you fight for your future.

Source: Findlaw, "Drug Possession Defenses," accessed March 24, 2017

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