Drug possession charges can drastically affect a student's future opportunities and privileges. Although the tide seems to be turning on public opinion of relatively low-level drugs like marijuana, drug possession charges of any kind are still quite serious and remain among the most heavily punished nonviolent charges available.
If you or someone you love recently received drug possession charges, then you should begin building your defense as soon as you possibly can. The longer you wait, the more time that the prosecution has to build its case against you, and the fewer opportunities you have to defend yourself. An experienced defense attorney can help you look at the charges and the circumstances under which you received them, identifying grounds you have to build your defense and protect your rights.
Did police violate your rights during your arrest?
Even if the prosecution has compelling evidence against you, if the police who arrested you violated your rights in the process, a court may toss out the charges altogether. Most commonly an officer making a drug-related arrest may violate a suspect's Fourth Amendment rights against unlawful search and seizure.
This may mean that the officer unlawfully searched your vehicle during a traffic stop or entered your home without proper authority. If police violate the law in order to uphold another law, a court my acknowledge that this is not justice. Likewise, if your arrest was unnecessarily violent or abusive, you may have grounds to protest it.
Can I object to the evidence?
The prosecution must prove that the charges against you hold water, legally speaking. Once you determine what evidence they have against you, you can more effectively build a defense against that evidence. For instance, if you learn that the police charged you with drug possession because they busted up a party in your home and found some drugs, you may have clear grounds to claim that the drugs do not belong to you, but were brought and left by some other partygoer.
Similarly, you may request laboratory testing of the evidence, which provides two separate protections. First the prosecution must produce the physical evidence against you. If the police who collected the evidence did not properly file it, they may have difficulty producing it, weakening the case against you considerably.
Even if the prosecution does produce the evidence, you can request testing to identify the substance. If the results do not match the charges, this also weakens the case against you.
Build your defense now to protect your future
As a student, now is not the time to jeopardize your future. Many people make foolish errors in judgement involving drugs while in school, and it is generally a mistake to derail a student's entire life for such an error. Be sure that you use every tool you have available to protect your future and ensure that your rights and opportunities remain secure.