The Best Defenses Against MN Drug Crimes
The possession of drugs in Minnesota is a serious crime, but your sentence if found guilty can range quite a bit.
Drug crimes can be misdemeanors or felonies, depending on how much of a controlled substance you are found with and what substance it is. And being arrested for having drugs is a stressful and shocking experience for many people – and they’re not sure what they need to do.
A skilled defense attorney is your first step to protecting your reputation and staying out of prison for drug crimes in Minnesota. No two drug cases are identical, but a knowledgeable attorney can assess the facts of your case and help you formulate the best defense possible.
Here are some of the most commonly used defenses for drug crimes used, one of which may be the best option for you and your experienced attorney to explore in your case.
Lack of Knowledge
Drug crimes have certain elements. If the prosecution can’ demonstrate those elements, they may not be able to prove the case against you. In many instances, knowledge is a key element of a drug crime.
For example, if you get accused of possession of a controlled substance, it’s crucial to the case that you had knowledge of those drugs. If you did not and the drugs were found on your property, that may be the key to your defense. You must be able to demonstrate that someone else placed those drugs on your property and you had no idea they were there.
The Fourth Amendment guarantees your right to be free from illegal search and seizure by the government. If you can demonstrate that the police didn’t have a valid search warrant, you may be able to have your case thrown out for a violation of your rights. If that doesn’t happen, the case can still fall apart if any evidence collected during that illegal search is deemed inadmissible.
If you get arrested and police did not have probable cause, they may not have had enough evidence against you to arrest you in the first place. You can work with your attorney to determine if this is a good strategy for challenging the case against you.
Maybe you committed the crime because you are struggling with drug addiction. If so, this can be a workable defense. Drug addicts are not acting with the same impulse control or decision-making capabilities as someone not influenced by drugs. You may want to have your lawyer reach out to see if the court is willing to help you find help through a treatment center for your addiction and stay under court supervision while you complete the program.
In some cases, police may arrest and charge you for having drugs they believe to be a controlled substance, but in reality is anything but. If this is the case, you can request the substance you had been sent to a lab for testing to identify if it’s actually a controlled substance or not. However, if you believed it to be a controlled substance and it turned out not to be, then you may still be on the hook for drug charges – so make sure to let your attorney in on each detail of your case.
You may have held onto something for someone that contained illegal substances and had no idea. If this is the case, that’s a workable defense. Make sure to share each detail with your attorney so that they can ensure you are represented to the best of their ability.
Sometimes, people get mixed up in actions they wouldn’t take on their own had it not been for someone pressuring them to do so. In some instances, the people doing the pressuring are those in authority positions over you, such as the police. If you committed a drug crime unwillingly in response to threats or harassment from law enforcement, you may have a case of entrapment.
Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty. That means you are entitled to an attorney and a proper defense in court. Take advantage of your rights and fight to keep your freedom.
About the Author:
Andrew T. Poole is a Minnesota native who has served in the Army for more than 18 years and is currently a JAG lawyer in the Army Reserves in addition to serving as a partner at LaCourse, Poole & Envall. He has handled thousands of criminal and family law cases over the course of his career and has a firm belief that all hardworking Minnesotans should be entitled to the best possible legal counsel. Mr. Poole boasts a 10/10 Superb rating on Avvo, is Lead Counsel rated, and has been recognized multiple times by SuperLawyers, National Trial Lawyers, and others for his work.