Under Wisconsin criminal laws, drug possession is a serious charge which can lead to serious penalties. If convicted, you could face several years in prison, steep fines, the loss of certain rights such as voting, as well as damage to your reputation, and the inability to hold particular jobs or licenses. Simply put, a conviction on drug possession charges has the potential to ruin your life.
However, there is hope. Keep in mind that drug possession charges don’t equal an automatic conviction. You are entitled to due process, and the prosecution must prove their case against you. They have the burden to prove that you should be convicted of your charges.
To avoid an illegal drug possession conviction, you need the services of a knowledgeable and dedicated Appleton drug possession lawyer. They know the applicable defenses in your case and how to use them to your advantage. By working with the legal team at Hogan Eickhoff, you can be assured of the best outcome possible.
Unlawful Search and Seizure
No matter the charges, the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides the right of due process of law for everyone. This includes protection against unlawful search and seizure before an arrest. Drug charges frequently involve issues surrounding unlawful search and seizure.
Illegal drugs found in plain sight or out in the open, for example, on a vehicle’s dashboard after a legal traffic stop, can be taken and submitted as evidence to support charges. However, drugs located in the trunk of a vehicle after using a crowbar to open it without permission can’t be used as evidence. If the accused’s Fourth Amendment rights were breached, then the drugs can’t be admitted as evidence in the trial. Without such evidence to prove there was illegal drug possession, the charges are usually dismissed.
The Drugs Don’t Belong to the Accused
The most common defense to any criminal charge is to say you didn’t do it. With drug possession charges, the equivalent is to argue that the drugs don’t belong to you and you don’t know how or why they were in your home or vehicle. For example, a seasoned drug possession defense lawyer will insist that the prosecution attorneys provide proof that the drugs police found in your car were yours and not one of your passengers.
Crime Lab Analysis
A criminal case can’t be rooted in assumptions. It might look like a drug, but that doesn’t mean it necessarily is. Not only will the prosecution need to prove that the drugs they found were yours, but also that the seized substance is the illicit drug they claim it to be. To accomplish this, they must send the suspicious substance to the crime lab. The crime lab analyst must testify at trial as to what the substance is so the prosecution can make its case.
Lack of Evidence Through Missing Drugs
Missing drugs is another common drug possession defense. Seized drugs are frequently transferred multiple times before going into evidence storage. An experienced Appleton drug possession attorney will never simply assume that the evidence will be available during the trial.
As previously noted, the prosecution doesn’t have a case without evidence. Suppose they can’t provide the drugs they purportedly found in your possession at trial. In that case, they won’t have the evidence they need for a conviction.
The Illicit Drugs Were Planted
In some cases, illegal drugs are planted by a law enforcement officer. This defense is less common as it is challenging to prove. A law enforcement officer’s sworn testimony holds much weight in court proceedings, and many of their fellow officers are incredibly loyal.
However, your Appleton drug possession lawyer can file a motion in court asking the judge to require the officer’s department to disclose that officer’s complaint file. It will have the names and contact information of any individuals who made previous complaints against them. Your attorney can then interview them or hire a private investigator to do so.
Wisconsin law enforcement officials have the right to set up sting operations as a part of their job. However, sometimes it can be argued that the officers or their informants induced an individual to commit a crime they otherwise might not have committed. For instance, if an informant pressures a suspect into holding onto drugs or giving them to another party, their actions could be considered entrapment. In general, entrapment occurs if the state provides the illicit drugs involved in the charges.
The Medical Marijuana Exception
In Wisconsin, some medical marijuana possession and use are legal. Although this won’t matter for federal drug possession charges, it can matter if you face charges at the state level. You will need a doctor’s signed recommendation. You might also have a defense if you can provide clear and convincing evidence of your medical necessity to use marijuana. Your Appleton drug possession attorney can assist you in doing so.
Are You Facing Charges? Call an Experienced Appleton Drug Possession Lawyer for Help Today
If you have been charged with drug possession, you are facing a lot of uncertainty. You might be worried about how much time you might need to serve, how you will pay fines if you can keep your job, and what will happen to your family and reputation. These worries are all valid; however, an Appleton drug possession attorney can help diminish your worries and increase your chances of a not guilty verdict with the right defense that is well-orchestrated.
Remember that a charge isn’t a conviction. An experienced Appleton drug possession attorney can assess the prosecution’s case against you. Then they can determine which defenses might work best to get you the desired outcome for your charges.
The Appleton drug possession lawyers at Hogan Eickhoff understand your worries and concerns during this stressful time. Contact us today at (920) 450-9800 to schedule your free consultation. When you meet with us, we will determine the best next steps in your case and detail which defenses might apply to your charges.