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Defenses for Drug Charges in Fresno

California drug attorney Mike McKneely has experience on both the prosecution and defense sides of the legal system. With valuable prosecutorial experience, he possesses keen insight on how to effectively negotiate your case within the justice system to obtain optimal results on your behalf when it comes to presenting the best possible defenses for drug charges in Fresno.

Thousands of people are charged every year with drug possession. In many of these cases, the arrest concerns a few illegal drugs that are discovered in the individual’s car or on their person. In fact, these possession scenarios represent the majority of criminal drug cases in California. If you have been accused of possessing or selling illegal drugs in the state, it is possible to fight your charges and maybe to win a dismissal or verdict of not guilty with the help of a seasoned California criminal defense lawyer who has a successful track record of developing drug crime defenses.

If you are facing a drug charge, don’t hesitate to call attorney McKneely today at (559) 443-7442 and request a free consultation. Or, you may contact us through our online form at the bottom of the page.

Most Common Defenses for Drug Charges in Fresno

An experienced California criminal defense lawyer can explain the best defenses for drug charges in Fresno that make the most sense for the facts of your particular case. For instance, depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to have your case dismissed due to a violation of your constitutional rights because of an illegal search and seizure. In other cases, the evidence and testimony against you may be flawed and easily disputed.

These are some defenses you have available when facing a drug charge in the state of California.

  1. Search and Seizure

    The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States protects all of us against unlawful searches and seizures. Authorities need a warrant in most cases to search your home. But in a car, police often say they saw illegal drugs in “plain view,” in which case the law allows them to be seized without a warrant and used against you in court. However, if the drugs are not discovered in “plain view”, but rather through some type of search that was not initiated by a warrant or other legal exception like the suspect’s agreement or the inventory exception, those discovered substances should not be used as evidence. If you’re Fourth Amendment rights are found to have been violated, your charges are likely to be dropped.

  2. Misidentification and Inaccurate Crime Lab Analysis

    Various types of non-narcotic substances can resemble drugs in appearance. For instance, white powder can have the appearance of cocaine. The state must provide proof that the substance found is indeed an illegal drug. The only way this can be done is through a professional laboratory analysis. At trial, in order to prove the nature of the substance, a crime lab analyst must testify to the lab test results. If the crime lab makes an error in its analysis or the substance is not an illegal drug or the crime lab expert does not testify at trial, then the case against you may be dropped, or at a minimum put in severe jeopardy.

  3. Actual vs. Constructive Possession

    One of two types of drug possession charges may be applicable in your case – actual or constructive possession. The state can charge you with possession of illegal drugs based on either scenario. Actual possession occurs when the drugs are found directly on your person. Constructive possession is a situation in which police believe you have knowledge of the presence of the illegal drug and you have the ability to access it. In order for the state to successfully convict you on this basis, it must prove that you knew the drugs were present and you had “control” over them in some way. Being near the drugs by itself is not generally enough to convict you of drug possession. The basis of your charge (actual or constructive possession) may help determine the types of drug crime defenses that your attorney will consider in your case.

  4. Entrapment

    Although police are permitted to conduct sting operations under California law, illegal entrapment occurs when the police or an informant of the police baits someone into committing a crime they would likely not have otherwise committed. Most often in drug cases where there is entrapment, the police officers will have provided the narcotics to be used in the situation. If entrapment can be proven, it is a complete defense to the drug charges.

  5. The Drugs are Lost or Never Existed

    Without physical proof of the drugs, the prosecution’s case against you is generally on shaky ground. An experienced defense lawyer will force the prosecution to produce the alleged drugs. It is the prosecution’s responsibility to keep track of the illegal substances assumed to belong to the case. If this is not done, you may be in a strong position to have your case dismissed or defended by your attorney with great success.

Further Questions about Defenses for Drug Charges in Fresno?

California law can be complex when you are facing a drug offense charge. For this reason, it is essential to obtain trusted and knowledgeable legal counsel to skillfully defend you against these allegations. Fresno criminal defense attorney Mike McKneely brings more than 15 years of professional legal experience to the table, including time as a prosecutor, to get the best possible outcome in your case.

Attorney McKneely will review the available drug crime defenses with you and determine which can work in your unique situation. From there he will work hard as a negotiator and strong defender to mitigate or, if possible, eliminate your charges.

Don’t delay getting the legal help you need. Call Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer today at (559) 443-7442 to request a free case evaluation.

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