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Can I avoid conviction on a drug possession charge?

If you are facing charges of possession of drugs in Kentucky, you need to take the matter seriously. Convictions of any kind can put a crimp in your lifestyle, but drug convictions in particular can bar you from many of life's opportunities.

One way to mount a defense against a drug possession charge is to attack the evidence at a procedural level.

Remember your Fourth Amendments rights

The U.S. Constitution and its Amendments offer us certain rights under the law. If these rights are violated or abridged in any way prior to or during your arrest, your criminal defense attorney can challenge the entire arrest circumstances in court.

One protection under the Fourth Amendment is that all searches and seizures must be accompanied by a warrant. It should also be noted that warrants can be limited in their breadth and scope, and these limitations may not be breached legally by the arresting officers.

For instance, if the police arrive with a warrant to search a home looking for an individual, they can only look for the person in places in which a human being could potentially be found, i.e., in closets, under beds, up in the attic, etc. Police looking for a suspect cannot open a drawer of a chest or look into somebody's purse because the suspect can't hide in those spaces.

Therefore, under the Fourth Amendment, anything found during a search of a drawer while looking for a suspect should be considered inadmissible in court.

But there are always exceptions

Every rule has its exceptions, and when it comes to evidence, the Fourth Amendment does as well. Courts have ruled that any illegal item or substance that is found in plain view by the police who are lawfully on the premises can be grounds for arrest. Police still must have probable cause to suspect that these items are contraband, however.

This is not the only exception to your Fourth Amendment rights. For instance, if you have a roommate and he or she tells police that they can search without a warrant, anything that they discover may be admissible in court.

This is known as "third party consent." It can only be sufficient if the person giving consent ''possessed common authority over or other sufficient relationship to the premises or effects sought to be inspected.'' What that can be interpreted as can be hotly debated in court, but a housemate's consent would likely be more credible than consent obtained from the defendant's girlfriend who does not share the apartment or home.

Strategize, then act

You and your Kentucky criminal defense attorney can craft a viable defense to your felony or misdemeanor drug charge. Begin your defense now to optimize your chances for the prosecution to drop the charges or to be acquitted in court.

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White Peck Carrington | 26 Broadway | P.O. Box 950 | Mount Sterling, Kentucky 40353-0950 | 859-274-4115 | Fax: 859-498-7363 | Map & Directions