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7 Common Drug Possession Charge Defenses in Arizona

January 9, 2024

Drug possession charges are serious offenses in Arizona and can lead to severe penalties, including probation, fines, and even imprisonment. If you face drug possession charges, understand that you have the right to a defense against these allegations. In this blog post, we’ll explore some common defenses individuals can use to challenge drug possession charges in Arizona.

1. Unlawful Search and Seizure

One of the most common defenses in drug possession cases is challenging the legality of the search and seizure process that led to the discovery of the drugs. The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects citizens from unlawful and unreasonable searches and seizures. If law enforcement officers conduct a search without a valid warrant or without probable cause, any evidence obtained during said search could be deemed inadmissible in court. 

At Jeff GOULD Law, the Attorney In YOUR Corner, we will thoroughly investigate your case and, if necessary, file a motion to suppress the evidence.

2. Lack of Possession

To convict a person of drug possession, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was actually in possession of drugs. Literal possession refers to having physical control over the drugs, such as holding them in one’s hand or pocket. 

On the other hand, constructive possession occurs when someone has the ability or intention to exercise control over the drugs.  With constructive possession, the drugs do not have to be on the person physically or literally. Challenging possession can be an effective strategy if the prosecution cannot establish this element of the defense.

3. Ownership or Knowledge

Another common defense is challenging the ownership or knowledge of the drugs in question. The prosecution must demonstrate that the defendant knew about the presence of the drugs. If the drugs were found in a communal space, such as a shared vehicle or home with multiple occupants, it could be challenging for the prosecution to prove who owned the drugs. 

A strong defense raises doubt about the defendant’s relation to the drugs by presenting evidence pointing to other ownership possibilities.

4. Crime Lab Analysis

In drug possession cases, the substance in question will be tested and confirmed to be an illegal drug. The prosecutors rely on crime lab results to identify the substance. Challenging the accuracy of these results is another defense, particularly if there are doubts about the testing procedures or chain of custody in the evidence.

5. Police Misconduct or Entrapment

If law enforcement officers engaged in protocol misconduct during either the investigation or the arrest, it could make for a viable defense stance. Situations such as these include when officers fabricate evidence, coerce a confession, or violate the defendant’s rights during the arrest or questioning. Similarly, if law enforcement induced or coerced the defendant into possessing drugs as part of an entrapment scheme, it may be used as a defense to the charges.

6. Medical Necessity or Prescription

In some instances, defendants facing drug possession charges may have a valid medical reason regarding the drugs in question. However, in such cases, establishing a compelling defense hinges on presenting substantial evidence supporting a legitimate medical necessity or an authorized prescription for the contested drugs. Effectively substantiating the connection between the accused’s possession and a lawful medical requirement is crucial in constructing a robust defense against the drug charge.

7. Involuntary Intoxication

In rare cases, individuals facing drug charges may opt for a defense strategy rooted in involuntary intoxication. This defense strategy states that the defendant unknowingly ingested or took the drugs, emphasizing a lack of control over the substance intake and a genuine lack of awareness regarding the illegal nature of the substance. Substantiating this defense has the potential to lead to an acquittal or a reduction in charges. As always, Jeff GOULD Law offers FREE consultations. Contact us TODAY to discuss the charges you are facing and how the Attorney In YOUR Corner, can help you today!

The Best Defense…

Challenging drug charges in Arizona requires an understanding of Arizona law and the ability to craft a robust defense strategy. The success of these defenses depends on the help of a skilled defense attorney who can investigate the circumstances, analyze the evidence, and identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s arguments. This is why it is absolutely imperative that you have a capable defense attorney.

Don’t DELAY: Call Jeff GOULD Law, the Attorney In YOUR Corner – TODAY!

DISCLAIMER: The information on this blog/site is not intended to be legal advice. It is for general informational use only. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your situation. Further, this information does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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