No matter what kind or how much of a drug was on you at the time of your arrest, there are lasting effects of a drug possession charge. Pinpointing potential errors in your arrest is crucial if you want to lessen the penalties state and federal law impose.

As your charge is pending, you should ask if the police officer properly arrested you, the drugs were yours and if the drugs were indeed illegal. Specifically, here are three possible defense routes to consider in your case:

  • Police officer error: Drugs collected in an unlawful manner can’t be the basis for your arrest. Typically, the police can’t rip apart your home or dig through your car if they don’t have reason to suspect a crime or don’t have a valid arrest or search warrant. That would go against your constitutional right to lawful searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment.
  • Not your drugs: Maybe had no knowledge of the joint found in your car at a traffic stop or the opioids left in your home by a friend you helped take care of after a recent surgery. In these types of instances, you can claim the drugs weren’t yours. Facing a drug possession is a serious crime, so it’s important to have the evidence to back up your claim — like a list of witnesses or medical records.
  • Medical marijuana: Perhaps you are one of the over 100,000 certified medical marijuana patients in the state of New York. If the police officer didn’t make note of your medical marijuana card at the time of your arrest, you can still use your lawful access to marijuana as a defense in a court of law.

Defending yourself against a drug charge can be challenging, so the first step to beating your charge could include enlisting legal aid. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help save you from a tarnished record, hefty fines and jail time.