You might have made a mistake and committed a crime. After all, the outcome can have a significant impact on your life and that of your family. But it’s critical to understand that being charged with a crime is not the same thing as being convicted of a crime. When it comes to possession charges, they are often defensible.
Did you really possess it?
Maryland Criminal Code Section 5-601 outlaws the possession of controlled substances. Whether something is or is not a controlled substance can usually be determined easily with a chemical test. Possession, however, is not as straightforward.
While it’s true that a controlled substance can be found directly on a person – in their pocket, for instance – that’s not always the case. Sometimes, law enforcement locates a drug near a person, such as in a car or home. When this happens, possession is not obvious and must be inferred from the surrounding circumstances.
It’s easy for police to draw an incorrect conclusion as to who was in possession of a drug. While their conclusion may be sufficient for an arrest, it can fail once subjected to close scrutiny. A good defense will apply that scrutiny.
Even if a drug is found directly on a person, it is still defensible. Possession charges frequently follow a search conducted by law enforcement. However, when police conduct any search, they must strictly follow rules laid out by the Constitution. In reality, it’s common for them violate those rules in some fashion.
Once again, the purpose of a sound defense strategy is to look carefully at how the police conducted themselves. If they violated the constitutional rules they were meant to follow, this can mean the evidence they collected (the illegal drug) will be kept out of evidence entirely, making the criminal charge impossible to prove.