Drug possession charges are a serious matter, and a defendant without a strong defense may suffer some of the harshest sentencing that courts hand down for non-violent offenses. Even relatively minor drug offenses can result in significant fines and time spent in jail, and Texas is well known for it’s aggressive law enforcement practices.
If you recently received drug possession charges, you must begin building your defense immediately for the sake of keeping your rights secure and protecting your future opportunities and privileges. Many employers and housing managers simply toss aside resumes and applications that include drug offenses without considering the circumstances that brought the charges about. This can make finding a job and a place to live very difficult if you have drug convictions on your record, so it is crucial to make your defense your top priority.
Why is time so important when building a defense?
One of the most useful things any defendant can do when building their defense is examine the evidence that prosecution has against them. While this is typically possible, obtaining evidence from police or prosecutors can take a while, and all the parties involved know that a defendant only has a certain amount of time to request the evidence and build their defense.
If you choose to put off building your defense, you may not have time to examine the case against you and build your defense. This makes it much more difficult to identify any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case that may reduce sentencing or potentially lead to acquittal. In simple terms, the sooner that you begin building your defense, the more legal tools you may have to protect yourself.
Is the evidence reliable?
In drug possession cases, police should confiscate the substance that led to the arrest and keep it as evidence. As you examine the circumstances, you may find that police made unfair assumptions about the ownership of the substance, or may have even misidentified a substance.
It is wise to review all the actions by law enforcement throughout your interaction to identify any potential violations of your rights, which may weaken the case against you. It is also useful to request laboratory testing of the physical evidence, which may further weaken the prosecution’s case.
Requesting laboratory testing compels prosecution to produce the physical evidence so that it can undergo examination. In some cases, police or prosecutors misfile physical evidence and cannot produce it, which may weaken their case. It is also possible that the laboratory may return inconclusive results, or may return results that do not match the charges against you. Each of these events presents opportunities for your defense.
Don’t delay protection
Your rights cannot defend themselves, and the longer you wait to protect them, the more difficult it is to fight against your drug charges and protect your future from harsh sentencing.