Cases involving drugs give rise to many issues, and many possible defenses
and results. Charges involving drugs range from being under the influence
of a controlled substance or possession for personal use of a controlled
substance, to possession for purposes of sale or narcotics trafficking.
Usually the most damning evidence (and thus the most important for
prosecution) is the drugs themselves. Therefore, the first aspect of
the defense is the possible suppression of this evidence, which prevents
the drugs from being used against the accused.
A motion to suppress evidence is based upon the idea that evidence
has been illegally obtained as the product of a search or seizure that
violates the 4th Amendment Constitution. The court decides this issue
after a hearing in which the defense attorney cross-examines the officers
involved in the case, and presents legal argument about why the evidence
should be suppressed. If this motion is successful, the case may be
There are different laws that govern whether or not a search is illegal,
depending upon what is searched and who does the searching. For example,
the law recognizes a greater expectation of privacy in a person's house,
than they do in a person's car. This is because cars are more exposed
to the public because of their many windows, and because of their mobility.
An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to spot these
issues, analyze them properly, and make a forceful argument on your
behalf in court.
It is possible for the government to seize the fruits of the drug trade
in what is called a forfeiture action. This can include cars, homes,
cash, and any other asset. A skilled criminal defense attorney can work
to protect assets from forfeiture.