If you’ve been charged with a drug crime, you may be worried about what this means for your future. In the state of Illinois, penalties for drug crimes are stiff. Even for possession charges, you could face a long prison sentence and steep fines.
In such instances, it’s important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side who knows how to effectively counter such charges. Today we examine three common defenses that can often get your drug charge reduced or even dismissed:
- Police misconduct: Perhaps the police didn’t have a search warrant or probable cause to search you, your car or your home. Perhaps they had a defective search warrant. Maybe they planted evidence on your or used an unreliable informant. A good defense attorney knows how to hunt down any police mistakes that were made and use these to your advantage.
- Inadequate evidence: The prosecution’s job is to prove that the drugs in question are yours. If your attorney can cast doubt on that idea, this is beneficial for you. For instance, if other people use the car or live in the home where the drugs were found, then what evidence is there connecting you in particular to the crime? If the police can’t prove that drugs were yours, that you knew that they were there and that you had dominion and control over them, then you shouldn’t be held responsible for any of the charges.
- Diversion program: In some cases, a defense attorney can convince the prosecution to reduce the charge (e.g., from a sales-related offense to simple possession) in exchange for getting you into a diversion program. This is a behavioral rehabilitation program—a class—which can keep you out of jail and get the charges dismissed.
If you’re charged with a drug crime, it’s critical to hire an attorney who will employ every tactic under the law to get your charges reduced or dismissed.