Have you or a loved one been arrested for drug possession in Ohio? It’s a scary experience, but whether you were found in possession of prescription drugs, marijuana, or other illegal substances, you can still defend yourself. If successful, you may have the drug charges against you dropped or qualify for reduced penalties.
Why Defending Against Drug Possession Charges Is Important
You may think that nothing can help if you’re caught with drugs in your possession. But being charged with a drug-related offense can result in a criminal record—limiting opportunities regarding work, housing, and other areas. Understandably, you’ll want to reduce the negative impact on your life. Here are some potential defenses if you have been charged with drug possession in Ohio.
You Were Coerced
This defense is valid in Ohio if you prove that law enforcement designed the criminal action. You will also need to prove you were not inclined to commit the drug offense before the influence of the law enforcement officer.
The challenge with this defense is that the burden of proof is on you. You must show that you committed the crime out of coercion and did not intend to commit the offense.
The Police Violated Your Fourth Amendment Rights
The US Constitution, through the Fourth Amendment, protects people from being searched or arrested unlawfully. You can claim violation of your Fourth Amendment rights if:
- There was no probable cause for the search by law enforcement, and the drugs were not in plain view
- Law enforcement officers trespassed on your property or infringed on your rights in an attempt to establish if you had drugs that were not in plain view
- Law enforcement did not have a warrant for the search
- Law enforcement used a canine for the search without a warrant
- You were stopped illegally and searched without probable cause
Lab Results Reveal the Substance Wasn’t a Drug
This defense may be appropriate if the substance you were found in possession of is not a controlled substance as defined by Ohio Revised Code 3719.01 and as outlined by the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy.
For this defense to be accepted, the substance must be under lab testing. If the lab results show that the substance is not a controlled substance, then the charges against you can be dismissed.
The Drugs Were Not Yours
This is one of the most common defenses that law enforcement officers and courts hear regarding drug possession charges in Ohio. A strong case is critical if you choose this route.
There are several ways to prove the drugs weren’t yours. One effective way is showing that other people were involved and the drugs were theirs.
For example, suppose your car was searched and the drugs were found in the car, but a friend had borrowed your vehicle the previous night. In that case, the drugs could have been theirs.
The Drugs You Possessed Were Legal
Ohio legalized the use of medical marijuana in 2016. Depending on the circumstances, you may be exempt if the marijuana is for medical purposes. However, proving this can be difficult as the exemption laws for medical marijuana are complex.
Mistakes Were Made in the Chain of Custody
When an arrest is made for drug possession, the drugs are seized and secured by the police. Your criminal attorney may be able to argue that the drugs presented in court were not yours but taken from a defendant in another case.
They can also challenge the charge if the drugs go missing. Your attorney can also argue that the officers did not handle the evidence properly throughout the investigation.
Call A Drug Possession Attorney Today
Ohio drug possession charges do not guarantee that you’ll be convicted. Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA will examine your circumstances and determine the best defense strategy to apply. Contact us online or call 419-625-7770 for a free and confidential consultation.