With jurisdictions around the country taking steps to legalize the use of medicinal and recreational marijuana, you may feel there is nothing wrong if you use a little of the substance here and there. Though you may be a supporter of legalization, it is still a crime to use and possess marijuana in South Dakota. If an officer pulls you over and arrests you for being in possession of marijuana, you could end up with a drug charge.
You may think that you cannot do anything about the charge but to accept the consequences. But a criminal charge means you allegedly committed a crime. It is up to the prosecution to use evidence they may have against you to secure a conviction. You should not take any criminal accusations lightly. Here are two drug possession defense tactics you should consider.
1. The drugs were not yours
Consider this scenario: You were in a friend’s vehicle with several other people who were passing around a joint. You did not touch it and did not admit to smoking it. Just because you are in a vehicle that is full of marijuana smoke and other people are smoking it does not mean that you are the owner or had possession of it. However, if the vehicle is yours, law enforcement saw you touch the joint or you admit to smoking it, those factors could be enough to make the possession charge stick.
2. Officer did not follow proper protocol
Officers must follow certain procedures when testing and apprehending alleged offenders. If they fail to perform their duties properly, an attorney may be able to have the drug possession charge you face reduced or dismissed. Common issues that negate evidence include not receiving your Miranda rights and not administering field sobriety test accurately.
It may seem as if you are living in a nightmare once you receive a drug possession charge. All is not lost. An attorney can help you to navigate the criminal justice system and improve the outcome of your situation.