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Search and seize defense options to try to avoid conviction

Let's say you borrow a jacket from a friend and are wearing it when a Kansas police officer pulls you over in a traffic stop. No big deal, right? Well, that depends. What if the police officer says he or she noticed your vehicle drifting from side-to-side in your lane and asks you to step outside your car for a few moments? Still no big deal, right?

The uneventful issue of using your friend's jacket might turn into something far more serious if the police officer who pulled you over searches your pockets and pulls out a baggie of contents that appear to be illegal drugs of some sort. Suddenly, driving to the store (or wherever you were traveling at the time) leads to facing serious charges in court, all because you were wearing your friend's coat.

Make sure the search is lawful

Not every search and seizure process on the part of law enforcement officers is lawful. Police officers often make mistakes just like any other citizen might. They also may intentionally disregard prescribed protocol and strict standards that govern what they may and may not do during such situations. Following is a list of facts pertaining to Fourth Amendment Rights, which involve the search and seizure process:

  • The U.S. Constitution contains this particular amendment to protect your right to due process of law. This means you're entitled to fair treatment in all aspects of the judicial system.
  • This amendment also protects citizens against unlawful searches and seizures. In many instances, evidence proffered through police searches that did not occur under appropriate warrant or permission is not admissible in court.
  • Such circumstances may prompt a judge to dismiss charges.

The Fourth Amendment refers to your person, home and/or effects; therefore, if you believe a police officer or investigator has violated your rights, you may seek appropriate assistance to address the matter in court.

Other common drug defenses

Besides Fourth Amendment rights and evidence challenges, there are other defense options that may prove viable in your own situation. Some of the most common strategies include: 

  • Especially in a situation where you were wearing a friend's clothing, it may be possible to build a strong defense around the fact that the supposed drugs produced as evidence belonged to someone else. 
  • Just because something is white and powdery or comes in a container in tablet form does not necessarily mean it's an illegal drug of any kind. Prosecutors must back up such assumptions by presenting chemical test evidence to prove a substance is actually the substance they claim it to be.
  • One strong defense strategy is lack of evidence. Police and investigators may transfer pieces of evidence from place to place and may lose items in the process. If prosecutors can't show the court the actual evidence they claim to possess, the situation naturally falls in the defendant's favor.

The fact is, you are presumed innocent of any criminal act unless proved otherwise in court, and there are often many means for aggressively fighting against drug-related charges that can help you protect your rights and possibly avoid conviction.

The Fifth Amendment protects your right to remain silent and not say anything that may be used to incriminate you in court. To act alongside experienced guidance to know what to say and when, you may request legal representation at any point during or following the arrest and adjudication process.

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