Drug charges: Challenging evidence
In any criminal case involving allegations of drug possession or distribution, how the evidence was obtained is of primary importance. Any drugs, paraphernalia or other materials must be seized legally to be used as evidence in a trial. While many defendants assume that the search warrants involved were obtained with probable cause and executed properly, this is not always the case.
One of the first steps in establishing a criminal defense strategy for drug charges is to investigate the means used to obtain the search warrant if applicable and determine if officers violated any of the defendant’s rights during the search and seizure process. All U.S. citizens are protected against illegal search and seizure by the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, and once an investigation into the case shows a violation of this right, the evidence may be able to be thrown out. In some cases, this may mean the charges against the defendant are also dropped.
Even if evidence is deemed admissible in court, a criminal defense attorney can still challenge the validity of the evidence based on how the evidence was handled after it was seized and whether the prosecution is able to physically present the evidence during the trial. Witness statements may also be able to be challenged by calling into question the reputation and reliability of the witness.
To get a conviction, prosecutors must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and this means that all of the evidence and police procedures must be handled and followed correctly. Defendants who believe that their rights were violated or that evidence was illegally obtained can talk to a Connecticut criminal defense attorney to learn more about their options.