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What are some viable defenses for drug possession charges?

As all criminal defense attorneys say, anyone arrested on drug charges in Oklahoma should take the matter seriously. Never assume that the charges, warranted or not, will disappear without taking direct action. Oklahoma law enforcement is notoriously strict on drug charges and the state's penalties are stiff.

However, with the right legal guidance, it is very possible to escape a drug conviction or have the charges reduced. When clients and defense attorneys work together honestly and cooperatively, they can come up with a number of viable defenses. Examples of such defenses include the following:

Entrapment

In most cases, police officers and investigators are quite careful to avoid entrapment, but it can still occur. The hinge point of such cases involves proving that an officer or an informant induced or caused the defendant to break the law.

Unlawful search and seizure

Sometimes, a defendant can escape severe drug charges when law enforcement officials engage in "shady" practices to uncover evidence. For example, if a defendant did not consent to a vehicle search and a police officer did not have cause to perform the search, it could be a case of unlawful search and seizure.

Lab analysis

Any alleged drug evidence in an arrest should undergo stringent testing by a crime lab. It is the prosecution's burden to ensure that a proper analysis occurs and that the analyst will testify in court regarding the results of the tests.

Missing evidence

Drugs and other evidence often pass through several hands before landing in an evidence locker, which increases the odds that such evidence can be lost. If the prosecution cannot produce the alleged drugs, it is possible that a court will dismiss the entire case.

Source: FindLaw, "Drug Possession Defenses," accessed April 26, 2018

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