If you have been charged with a drug crime by a local, state, or federal prosecutor - or if you fear that drug charges are coming your way - it is natural to feel fear, anxiety, and confusion. You are definitely in for a legal challenge to defend your reputation and your freedom, but there are numerous options that may be available to you in getting out of the drug charges brought against you. In all cases, you should work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can evaluate your particular situation to advise you on your best strategy. Under no circumstances should you attempt to defend yourself with any of the following methods without the guidance of a lawyer, as you run a high risk of only making things worse for yourself. That said, here are 5 potential strategies your criminal defense attorney may employ in helping you to evade drug charges.
Question the Constitutionality of the Police Action in Your Arrest
To be convicted of a crime in court, the prosecutors must present evidence of the crime which proves that you committed it. But only evidence that was constitutionally obtained by police may be admitted against you in court. Your attorney might successfully argue that, among other things:
- You were not provided necessary Miranda rights
- You were questioned after asking for a lawyer
- Evidence was obtained without a necessary warrant
- You were stopped without reasonable suspicion
- Your were arrested or evidence was seized without probable cause
Challenge the Sufficiency of the Evidence Against You
Not only are prosecutors required to present evidence against you, but this evidence must prove that you committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Every element of the crime charged must be proven. If, for example, a narcotic was placed in your bag or in your car without your knowledge, the prosecutor might be unable to show you met a knowledge requirement for a specific crime. Your criminal defense attorney will assess all evidence brought against you and raise questions to the judge and jury as to whether that evidence meets the threshold of proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Present an Affirmative Defense Negating Your Guilt
Even when prosecutors can show you met certain requirements for committing a drug crime, you may still have an affirmative defense which can result in a dismissal of your charges or a not guilty finding. If, for instance, you committed the crime out of duress (e.g. another person forced you to commit the crime on threat of death or serious bodily injury) or you were entrapped by law enforcement, this may be able to help you avoid a guilty verdict.
Provide Information to Prosecutors in Exchange for Immunity
Depending on the law enforcement agency and prosecutors handling your case, the government may be far more interested in prosecuting individuals “higher up the food chain” in drug manufacture or distribution, as opposed to those caught for more minor crimes such as possession. In some cases, your attorney may be able to work out a deal by which you provide information to the government to help prosecute others in exchange for immunity or a reduction in charges.
Enter a Drug Treatment Program
Many, but not all, states offer rehabilitation programs for low-level drug offenders which provide alternatives to facing prosecution and a criminal record. In Oklahoma, some first-time offenders may be eligible to complete a short-term drug treatment program in custody rather than facing a longer prison time. Your criminal defense attorney can provide further information regarding your options here and can work with prosecutors and the judge in your matter to pursue this option.
How to Fight Your Oklahoma Drug Crime Charges
Fighting your Oklahoma drug crime charges starts with working with experienced criminal defense counsel who will fight the charges against you, punch holes in the prosecutor’s case, and work towards your best outcome.