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Drug Possession Defense Strategies
Drug crimes tend to be highly specialized because of the type of police procedures that are used, the complexity of the law and the way the courts interpret those laws. It is very important that a lawyer has many years of experience in the court defending Michigan drug possession charges because it takes many many years before any lawyer will be able to fully understand and appreciate what defenses might apply effectively.
Additionally, it can be helpful to have an attorney with a science background so that they can understand whether the testing that is used to confirm the drug is a valid test. Gas chromatography and mass spectroscopy are complex scientific tests, without a solid scientific understanding of these a lawyer will not be able to properly defend your Michigan possession charge.
The more drugs a person is found to be in possession of, the worse their potential penalties will be. If you happen to meet the police, the best thing to do is to not say a word to them. However, no matter how bad the case may seem, an experienced Michigan drug possession defense attorney can offer hope in identifying the best Michigan drug possession defense strategies.
Right now, the use of heroin and all prescription opiates are priorities for law enforcement. These are high priorities for the police because it has become a major problem in the suburban areas of Michigan where these types of drugs were recently found. This is affecting the younger population and is becoming more frequent.Building a Defense
Building a complete defense strategy begins with a thorough interview of the person charged. This is because, presumably, they know the case facts best. Following the defendant's interview, the attorney or their investigator will interview any involved witneses. The next step is to compare these results with the investigation of the police to see whether any conflicts exist and if it is possible for the police to have observed or done what they have claimed to. At times case reenactments can reveal that the police are mistaken or even lying about happened.
Also, building a defense for a Michigan drug possession charge requires that a lawyer can apply what they have learned to the law as they know it to determine whether any laws have been violated by the police or if any constitutional rights have been violated.Factors of a Defense
The lawyer is going to consider exactly why the person came into the contact with the police to begin with. If was through confidential informants, was the law that is applicable to confidential informants properly followed and administered? If there was a traffic stop, was it valid? If there was any kind of a search, was the search conducted either pursuant to a warrant or pursuant to one of the exceptions to a warrant?
Also, it may be necessary to hire an investigator to determine whether in fact the police have an answer and that the police witnesses are credible. Very often, statements made to the police are often found to be or not even given. So, it is important that the attorney look at every piece of evidence and try to figure out if there is a way to effectively reduce its effectiveness or eliminate it altogether.Constitutional Defense Strategies
Federal and Michigan constitutional issues arise in drug possession cases as a defense because Michigan's constitution is very similar and, in some instances, has greater protections than the federal constitution for the defendant. The Fourth Amendment protects a person from unreasonable search and seizure by law enforcements. If the police violate this amendment it can be a strong defense strategy for your drug possession case. The Fifth Amendment protects a person's right to remain silent.
A final constitutional defense may be in certain circumstances double jeopardy. Double jeopardy applies if a person is being charged with two crimes that are very similar but are being charged separately. The law would preclude that from moving forward unless the prosecutor can show that each of the crimes has at least one separate element from the other. Your defense attorney can use this defense to mitigate penalties and improve plea deal negotiations.