Criminal charges for drug possession are serious in Illinois. From cocaine and heroin to marijuana and opioids, you may face jail time, thousands of dollars in fines and restricted access to student aid. Being convicted of drug possession may alter your life forever. Even once you are out of jail, it may impact your reputation and career.
But just because the police handcuff you and prosecutors bring charges against you does not necessarily guarantee things will end in a conviction. There are plenty of possible strategies for challenging drug possession charges, depending on the details of your situation. Here is a look at some of the most common defenses for drug charges.
Illegal search and seizure
You have rights and protections to privacy and due process of law, thanks to the U.S. Constitution. If police officers conduct a search and seizure in an inappropriate and unlawful manner, you may be able to prove they violated your rights. Evidence obtained through unlawful means cannot be used in a trial.
Medical marijuana patient
As you may know, Illinois has legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes. If you are a valid patient for medical marijuana and possess and use the substance according to the law, you can argue the necessity of having the substance. You must be a qualifying patient with a registration card.
Not your drugs
If the drugs do not belong to you, you may be able to demonstrate you are not guilty of any crime. There are many cases in which this may happen. For example, if you borrow a car from your friend and there are drugs in the vehicle that you do not know about, you may be able to prove that you did not have any knowledge of or intent to possess the drugs.
You and your attorney can determine the best way to fight the drug charges you face.