Drug charges have a varying set of potential consequences. Some repercussions may be minor depending on the drug’s classification. Other charges are more severe and may harm your livelihood and public image.

While recreational drug use remains illegal, you can still save your reputation and career if you’re charged with possession or use. If the charges lack proof, then you may avoid some of the consequences you fear.

Proof of ownership

You have the right to assert that the drugs in question belonged to someone else. You may have carried them for an acquaintance. Or you may have borrowed your friend’s car and they left drugs in plain view. In these cases, you might be able to argue for a constructive possession charge. This is a downgrade from an actual possession charge and means that you knew the drugs were on or near you, but that you did not own them.

Proof of substance

An official might be unable to prove that the substance in question is an illegal substance. While most drugs are easy to identify, some resemble common foods, items and products. These can be hard to tell apart in small quantities and may shift the burden of proof on law enforcement. You can also have the substance tested by a crime lab as a way of verifying it.

Proof of unlawfulness

The law might also be on your side. The Fourth Amendment offers citizens reprieve from unlawful search and seizure procedures. Officers need a probable cause for performing a search. This could include any evidence of drug possession or use, like spotting drugs in plain view. But some searches and arrests are not based on such reason. In this case, any evidence found against you cannot be used, regardless of whether it exists.

Drug charges can hamper your reputation. They might hinder your ability to keep a job, find a job and be a productive member of society. Working with a criminal layer can help you understand the gravity of these charges and find a way to fight back.