Being charged with possession of drugs is a serious crime in Pennsylvania that can have lasting consequences. The federal government also has strict penalties for drug possession. These penalties may increase if the drugs were possessed with the intent to sell. If an individual who has been charged with drug possession intends to plead not guilty, a lawyer has several different defense options in order to help a client.
Most cases that involve possession of drugs rely on the drugs themselves as the primary evidence. These drugs are often obtained during a police search and seizure. The Fourth Amendment protects citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures. If a search warrant wasn’t legally obtained prior to the search or if the drugs were found in a vehicle and weren’t in plain view without a warrant, the drug evidence would be inadmissible.
Another possible defense would be that the drugs didn’t belong to the individual who was charged with drug possession. A lawyer may be able to put pressure on the prosecutor to prove that the drugs belonged to their client rather than a roommate or another individual in the vehicle. An attorney may also ensure that the alleged drugs are actually drugs by pressuring the prosecutor to have the alleged drugs tested in a lab.
Criminal defense attorneys who represent people on drug charges have another option as well. If the above strategies don’t appear to be applicable, negotiating an agreement with the prosecutor that provides for a guilty plea in exchange for lesser penalties might be advisable.