Building a Defense For Atlanta Drug Possession Charges

If you have been charged with a drug offense in Atlanta, an experienced Atlanta drug possession lawyer will know the options for the particular county in which a person is charged, and what the options are for either entering a plea deal of fighting the charges in court. Therefore to discuss your case, call and schedule a consultation today.

Areas of Defense For Drug Possession

In drug cases, there are two areas of defense issues. The first issue is the question of the search and seizure. In other words, how the law enforcement officer found the contraband and whether it was legal. This involves answering questions such as:

  • Whether there was a warrant
  • Whether the warrant was correct
  • Whether there was consent to search
  • Whether consent was voluntarily given or coerced

The 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives us protection from unreasonable searches and seizures, just as the Georgia Constitution does.  As such, you need an experienced drug possession lawyer to evaluate the case for issues concerning the search and seizure.

The second question is the issue of proof of possession. It is not enough that a person is found being near or in the proximity of drugs or other contraband. It must be proven that they had knowledge of the contraband and the ability and intent to exercise the dominion of control over the drugs. Those are issues that are often very hard to identify. Someone charged with drug possession needs an attorney who is experienced with drug cases to find the best possible defense.

Steps to Building a Defense

The most important step in building a defense for a drug possession charge is for the attorney to meet in private with the person to talk about the case and learn everything possible that he or she can share with the attorney about what happened. Then the attorney must next turn to the police for copies of their arrest reports, arrest videos, etc. and look for possible defense issues.

Most often, the defense in a drug case starts with the question of the search and seizure:  How the drugs were found and whether they were found legally. If the drugs were found lawfully, the authorities need to prove that the person was in possession of them. This is not as simple as it sounds considering all the issues contained within the issue of proof of possession such as:

  • Whether other people had equal access to the drugs
  • Whether the defendant had intent to exercise control of the drugs
  • Whether the defendant had the ability to exercise control of the drugs

Many times we see the police arrest everyone who was riding in the car in which drugs were found, regardless of whether the officers can even show that a given passenger was even aware of the drugs.

Constitutional Issues in Drug Possession Cases

The most common constitutional issues that comes up in drug possession cases are those related to the Fourth Amendment which protects us from unlawful searches and seizures. With regards to this amendment a variety of issues come up such as how the drugs were found, whether a warrant was obtained, and whether the search itself was valid.

These are questions that must be looked at to evaluate whether or not the search and seizure was done in violation of constitutional protections. If the search and seizure was done in violation of the constitutional protections, the evidence cannot be used against the defendant.