If you are facing drug possession charges in Illinois, it is important to remember that being charged with a crime does not necessarily lead to a conviction. You and your attorney can come up with an effective defense strategy that can help you avoid some or all of the serious criminal consequences that come with a drug crime conviction.
One of the most common defense strategies will require a thorough analysis of the circumstances surrounding your arrest. Under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, we are protected from illegal searches and seizures of our homes and vehicles. In other words, if an officer stops you for a routine traffic violation and proceeds to search the trunk of your car without probable cause or your consent, any evidence of drug possession found in the trunk cannot be used against you in court. However, if the drugs are found in “plain view” (seen through the window), that evidence may be valid.
Another common defense strategy is proving that the drugs found in your home or vehicle are not yours and that you had no knowledge of their existence. If you have roommates or other passengers in your vehicle, the prosecutor on your case may have a difficult time proving that the drugs belonged to you. Remember that in a criminal case, it is not your job to prove your innocence. It is the prosecutor’s job to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Additionally, prosecutors will have to prove that the alleged drugs were in fact an illegal substance by having them tested by a crime lab. The analyst who tested the drugs will also have to testify Your defense attorney will question the analyst and look into testing procedures to make sure that the drug tests were accurate. Drug possession charges can result in serious consequences, but an effective defense strategy can lead to the dismissal of these charges.