Drug Arrest in Indiana: Potential Defenses
On July 8, 2020, the Indiana State Police intercepted approximately 12 pounds of methamphetamine in Munster, Indiana. According to ABC57 News, this large shipment of drugs came from El Paso, Texas, and was headed for the Chicagoland Northwest-Indiana area.
In Indiana, a person caught in possession of methamphetamine without a valid prescription can face felony charges. Not only can such charges bring serious damage to your reputation if convicted, but you could face a sentence of up to sixteen years in prison, depending on the quantity of drugs in your possession.
Because of the gravity of a drug arrest, you should hire a skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to start preparing your defense. Here are five of the most common defenses for drug-related charges.
Unlawful Search & Seizure. The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution restricts the government from conducting illegal searches and seizures of your person, vehicle, or property. If the evidence against you stems from a search or seizure that violated your constitutional rights, such as conducting a search without a valid warrant, the prosecution should not be allowed to use such evidence against you at trial. Your defense lawyer will examine the police record and interview witnesses to ensure that law enforcement did not violate your rights.
Unwitting Possession. You may have been genuinely unaware that another person left illegal drugs on your person, property, or among your possessions. Unwitting possession is an affirmative defense, which means you would have the burden of proving that you did not know that the drugs were in your possession.
Forensic Lab Mistake. The police may accuse you of possessing an illegal substance, but they must prove that the drug you possessed was the unlawful substance they claim. Forensic labs make mistakes more often than people realize. Substance analysts sometimes mislabel samples, store them improperly, use contaminated instruments for testing, or make other errors that cast doubt on the lab report’s reliability.
Duress/Coercion. You may also have a valid defense if someone forced you to hold or hide drugs on their behalf. While this is not an easy defense to prove, it may fit your situation. You are required to prove that you felt compelled to hold drugs because someone threatened you or a close family member with serious bodily injury or death.
Planted drugs. It doesn’t just happen on television or in movies–law enforcement may change or add false evidence at a scene to make a person seem guilty. It’s difficult to prove such an accusation, but an experienced criminal defense lawyer will know where to look for and find evidence.
If you have been arrested for a drug-related offense, contact the criminal defense lawyers of Razumich & Associates right away. We’re ready to defend you and fight for your rights.