Someone Planted Drugs in Your Vehicle: What to Do?
Most people never imagine the police will arrest them for possession of drugs, but it can happen. The police don’t care who owns the drugs, as their focus is on getting them off the street. If a person is in the wrong place at the wrong time, or someone has framed them, this comes out in court. Until the court date, however, their life changes in ways most people cannot imagine. Furthermore, the court might find them guilty of possession, and the consequences of this conviction impact every area of their life. What should a person do in this situation?
Contact an Attorney
The first step a person needs to take when law enforcement officers arrest them and charge them with drug possession is to contact a corpus christi criminal defense lawyer. The prosecution begins building their case against a suspect or defendant immediately, and the accused needs someone doing the same for them. Answers to common questions that arise when meeting with an attorney for the first time are below.
Don’t Resist Arrest
Never resist arrest if the police attempt to take you into custody. Although the drugs may not be yours, the police must arrest anyone suspected of the crime. Remain respectful throughout the encounter and allow them to do their job. If they ask questions, say you wish to contact your attorney and provide only that information needed to identify yourself as required by law.
Never Consent to a Search
Don’t allow the police to search your body, the vehicle, or the home. Inform the officers that consent is not being provided. They may search anyway, but having the refusal to consent on the record becomes of importance as the case moves forward. Next, certain things change based on where they found the drugs, and this is also important to the case.
Drugs Found in a Residence
When the police find drugs in a residence, the person with control of the property at the time receives the blame. This is usually the individual living in the home, although there are exceptions to this. It might be a visitor to the residence brought the drugs with them. The person who lives in the residence could still be blamed and find themselves behind bars. It then becomes their responsibility to prove the drugs don’t belong to them.
Drugs Found in a Vehicle
A similar situation involves drugs found in a vehicle. However, individuals find that scenario is less clear, as law enforcement officers take where they found the drugs in the car into consideration when determining who should be arrested during the stop. For example, the officers might find drugs in the back seat near a passenger. When they do, they often assume the drugs belong to the person in closest proximity to the drugs.
Important Points to Consider
When law enforcement finds drugs in a house or car, remember important details because they can be of great help in building a defense. Where, specifically, were the drugs found? Was someone in possession of them at the time of the arrest? Could someone have brought the drugs into the home or car, or were they left there by another person? Prosecutors must prove a person’s guilt beyond all doubt to get a conviction. Any doubt brought into the case helps the accused.
Individuals often want to know who will be charged if the drugs aren’t theirs. Law enforcement officers always have men and women claiming the drugs aren’t theirs even when they are. They must arrest those who they suspect the drugs actually belong to or the individual who has the drugs in their possession. It falls on the prosecutor to follow the evidence and determine guilt. As a result, the officers arrest the owner of the home or car and charge them with possession. This is when the attorney becomes of great help, as they help the accused develop a defense strategy for use in the courtroom.
What might a person do to show their innocence when prosecutors have charged them with drug possession? First, they should never take a plea deal unless their attorney advises them to do so. The defendant doesn’t know what evidence the prosecutor has against them, and there may be very little evidence to prove their guilt. An attorney reviews the facts of the case to decide which defense will be most effective.
This attorney might show the defendant wasn’t the only one with access to the drugs or could prove the defendant wasn’t aware the drugs were in the home or car. It might be the defendant didn’t know the drugs were illegal or the cops lacked the right to search the property. Finally, the attorney may show that a doctor prescribed the drugs and the defendant legally had them.
No two cases are alike. Attorneys know what things to look for in a case in order to build an effective defense. The goal remains to get the best outcome possible, and an attorney becomes of great help in achieving this goal.
Penalties for Drug Possession
The penalties for drug possession vary by state. Men and women must recognize this and know the laws of the state where the arrest took place. They need to get an attorney in that state to ensure they receive adequate representation.
What Does Possession Mean?
Prosecutors must show the drugs belong to the person charged with the crime in a possession case. The law requires them to show the drugs were on the individual at the time of arrest or the individual was aware of their presence. Furthermore, the prosecutor must show the accused could exercise control over these illegal substances. A failure to do so could lead to a dismissal of the charges or a not-guilty verdict. The attorney knows this and helps the defendant show the prosecutors did not meet these criteria.
Speak to an attorney right away if you have been arrested and charged with a drug crime. Don’t delay in reaching out to a lawyer. Prosecutors have a team of individuals working on their behalf, and you need the same. Secure representation today to achieve the best outcome possible in your drug possession case.