Criminal Attorneys Aren't Just for Criminals

2 Defensive Strategies That Can Help You Beat Your Marijuana Possession Charges

by Eva Holmes

If you are currently being charged with the possession of marijuana and are going to trial, here are two defense strategies you should discuss with your criminal defense attorney that may help you beat the charges. 

#1 Illegal Stop Or Search

One of the best and most basic defenses is to have your attorney argue that the stop and search that resulted in marijuana being found in your possession was not legal. In order to legally stop you when you are driving in a vehicle or to stop you when you are walking on the street, the police need what is called a Constitutional basis.

If the police cannot establish a Constitutional basis for stopping your vehicle or your person and searching it, the search will be deemed illegal by the judge. If the search is deemed illegal, everything related to the search will be thrown out, as evidence found in an illegal search and seizure cannot be used against you. With the evidence gone, your case should be gone as well. 

By carefully questioning what the police observed before they stopped you, your attorney may be able to find the reason to have your search and case thrown out. 

#2 Invalid Search Warrant

If the police found marijuana while searching either your home or your business, make sure that your attorney looks over the search warrant very carefully. If there are any defects in the search warrant, your attorney may be able to get your case thrown out. 

The first defect your attorney should look for is a lack of probable cause; if there is not enough cause established, the warrant can get thrown out. For example, if the police just state that they had a feeling that something was up, that is not enough of a reason for a warrant to be issued. 

Second, have your attorney look at the date the warrant was issues verses the date it was executed; if the dates are too far apart, the warrant may be considered stale, which could get it thrown out. For example, if the warrant was issued in September but was not executed until November, it will probably get thrown out. 

Third, have your attorney look into where the information came from that was used to obtain the warrant. If the information came from an anonymous source or from a snitch, it could be thrown out due to the unreliable source of the information. For example, if someone who was already in jail issues the information, it could be seen as compromised because their testimony could be given in exchange for a reward or privilege in prison. As another example, an anonymous call would not be seen as a solid source because the information they gave cannot be backed up or verified. 

Fourth, make sure that the scope of the stated warrant was not exceeded. For example, if the warrant only allowed them to search areas that were clearly visible, but they had to open up a locked cabinet to find the marijuana, your case could get thrown out. 

Examining your search warrant is often an effective way to get your marijuana case dismissed. 

Make sure that your defense attorney examine the basis for your stop and search or for your warrant; these are two areas where errors can occur that could get your case thrown out of court.