When you are charged with a drug crime in North Carolina, it is vital to have an experienced drug charges defense lawyer on your side. The consequences of a drug conviction can be severe, including jail time, a criminal record, and a loss of your driver’s license. A skilled drug charges defense attorney can help you fight the charges and avoid these harsh penalties.
The first step in mounting a successful drug charges defense is to understand the charges against you and the evidence the prosecution has to support those charges. In North Carolina, drug crimes are classified as felonies or misdemeanors, depending on the type and amount of drugs involved. The most serious drug crimes are classified as felonies, and they carry the possibility of jail time and steep fines.
Possible Drug Charges Defenses
If you are charged with a drug crime, the prosecutor must prove that you committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a high burden of proof, and it means that the prosecutor must have strong evidence to convict you. An experienced drug crimes defense lawyer will carefully review the evidence against you to look for weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.
The most common drug charges defenses are:
- Entrapment is a legal defense that can be raised when an individual is induced by law enforcement to commit a crime that they otherwise would not have committed. For the defense of entrapment to be successful, the defendant must show that:
- They were not predisposed to commit the crime, and
- Law enforcement used coercion or undue pressure to induce them to commit the crime.
If the defendant can show both of these elements, the charges against them could be dismissed.
- Illegal Search and Seizure. If the police search without a warrant or probable cause, any evidence that is obtained as a result of that search may be excluded from the trial. This is known as the exclusionary rule.
The exclusionary rule is a legal principle that prohibits the use of illegally obtained evidence in a criminal trial. The rationale behind the rule is that if the police are allowed to use illegally obtained evidence, it would encourage them to engage in illegal searches and seizures.
- Lack of Knowledge. If the defendant can show that they did not know that the substance they were possessing was illegal, they may be able to avoid conviction. This defense is often raised in cases involving controlled substances that are legal in some states but not in others.
- Insufficiency of Evidence. If the prosecution’s evidence is insufficient to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, then the charges should be dismissed. This is often the case in drug possession cases where the only evidence is the defendant’s word against the police officer’s.
- Duress is a legal defense that can be raised when the defendant committed a crime because they were under the threat of imminent harm. For the defense to be successful, the defendant must show that:
- They reasonably believed that they were in imminent danger,
- They did not have a reasonable opportunity to escape the danger, and
- They committed the crime because of the threat of harm.
Legal Help You Can Trust
When it comes to drug charges, the stakes are high. A conviction could mean jail time, a loss of your driver’s license, and a criminal record. But with GPS Law Group on your side, you can fight back against the charges and protect your rights.
GPS Law Group has a proven track record of success in defending against drug charges. Our attorneys know the law and how to build a strong defense. We’ll investigate the facts of your case and work to find any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, ensuring that your rights are protected throughout the legal process.
Don’t try to navigate the legal system alone. Let GPS Law Group help you fight for the best possible outcome in your case. Call us at (704) 549-1950 to discuss your case or use our online contact form to send a message and set up a free consultation.
GPS Law Group serves Charlotte, North Carolina, and the surrounding communities.