Cases involving drugs give rise to many issues, and many possible defenses and results. Charges involving drugs range from being under the influence of a controlled substance or possession for personal use of a controlled substance, to possession for purposes of sale or narcotics trafficking.
Usually the most damning evidence (and thus the most important for prosecution) is the drugs themselves. Therefore, the first aspect of the defense is the possible suppression of this evidence, which prevents the drugs from being used against the accused.
A motion to suppress evidence is based upon the idea that evidence has been illegally obtained as the product of a search or seizure that violates the 4th Amendment Constitution. The court decides this issue after a hearing in which the defense attorney cross-examines the officers involved in the case, and presents legal argument about why the evidence should be suppressed. If this motion is successful, the case may be dismissed entirely.
There are different laws that govern whether or not a search is illegal, depending upon what is searched and who does the searching. For example, the law recognizes a greater expectation of privacy in a person’s house, than they do in a person’s car. This is because cars are more exposed to the public because of their many windows, and because of their mobility. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to spot these issues, analyze them properly, and make a forceful argument on your behalf in court.
It is possible for the government to seize the fruits of the drug trade in what is called a forfeiture action. This can include cars, homes, cash, and any other asset. A skilled criminal defense attorney can work to protect assets from forfeiture.