5 Common Defenses for Drug Possession Charges in Las Cruces

Zipper bag with marijuana. Arrested man in handcuffs in the background.

Facing drug possession charges in Las Cruces is an incredibly daunting experience, especially with the potential for heavy fines and prolonged jail time. However, there are effective defenses to drug possession charges, and with the help of an experienced Las Cruces drug crime defense attorney, you can reach a favorable outcome. 

Time is of the essence, as early intervention in drug possession cases leaves you with more avenues to explore regarding defenses and a better chance of reaching the best possible outcome. If you or a loved one are drug possession charges in Las Cruces, trust the Benjamin Law Firm for aggressive representation from a leader in criminal defense. We’re ready to start fighting for you today.

1. Search and Seizure Issues

The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects individuals against unreasonable search and seizure. If the evidence the prosecution is relying on for these drug possession charges was obtained through an unlawful search and seizure, that evidence can be rendered inadmissible in court, which could severely damage the prosecution’s case. This includes evidence gained by improperly executed warrants and law enforcement acting without probable cause.

2. Lack of Actual Possession

Drug possession charges require that the prosecution show that you had possession of the illegal substance. Under the law, to prove possession, the prosecution must show that you had physical custody and control. It is not enough to simply be in the same place at the same time as the illegal substance, such as finding the substance in a shared space or vehicle. If there is a lack of evidence as to your actual possession or any evidence to the contrary, you may have a strong defense. The common example is the backpack in the rear seat of a car- who owns it? Did they look for identification, items that show male/ female possession. The prosecution has to establish a direct connection between yourself and the substance, and disproving that connection goes a long way in neutralizing the prosecution’s case.

3. Illegal Traffic Stop

If a traffic stop leads to a drug possession charge, it’s vital to scrutinize the circumstances closely. If the traffic stop was conducted illegally, any evidence gained can be suppressed. Law enforcement must have a valid and articulable reason to execute a traffic stop, more than just a hunch or a bad feeling. They can only execute a stop if there is a valid traffic violation or a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. If the traffic stop was unjustified or the result of profiling, you may have a strong defense and an avenue to ensure any evidence obtained as a result of the stop is suppressed.

4. Issues with Lab Analysis

It’s not enough for law enforcement to smell a substance or see that something appears consistent with an illegal substance to bring criminal charges. There must be evidence that proves that the substance in question was conclusively contraband, and that’s where crime labs come into play. While they are a necessary tool for the prosecution’s case, their analysis and procedures are not infallible. Errors commonly occur in crime labs, and your defense attorney can challenge the accuracy and reliability of their findings based on the chain of custody or methodology used. If there are inconsistencies or doubts about the validity or integrity of the evidence, it could significantly weaken the prosecution’s case.

5. Medical Necessity

If the substance in question was validly prescribed by a healthcare professional or obtained with a legitimate medicinal license, then possessing it is not a crime. If you can show that you had a prescription or license for the substance, you may have a compelling defense.

Las Cruces Drug Possession Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one are drug possession charges in Las Cruces, it’s vital that you act fast and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. You need a lawyer who will fight aggressively for you, your rights, your freedom, and your future. The sooner you reach out, the better your chances are at reaching the best possible outcome and mitigating the charge’s impact on your future.
Contact us today so we can get started fighting for you. También podemos ayudarte en español.

Posted in: Drug Criminal Defense