If you’re charged with drug possession in Washington state, you might think it’s an open and shut case, especially if there is any physical evidence. However, there are a few defenses to consider that could result in your charges being dismissed or reduced.
A common criminal defense pertaining to drug possession is an illegal search and seizure. An officer must have a valid reason to search your person or property. If drugs are seen in plain view, this could lead to a search of your person, vehicle, or anything you carry. However, you could use an illegal search defense in court if an officer has no reason to search for drugs.
Another defense that could be used is that the drugs found aren’t yours. If the drugs are found in your vehicle or home, you could claim that you don’t know who they belong to or how they got there, especially if several people have access to your property. Drugs ground in a commonly shared area is a defense commonly used because the court only needs to show that you had some access to the seized drugs instead of physically possessing them.
Real drugs or not
Sometimes, one product can look like an illegal drug. Misidentification is common among prescription medications, even those you can obtain over the counter. A defense for drug possession could be that the items seized are not the illegal drugs claimed. The court would typically order a substance analysis to determine what is in the product and its legal status.
Even if you’re facing a drug possession charge, there are a few ways that you could defend against it when you go to court.