Being caught carrying illegal drugs in South Carolina is a serious offense and local prosecutors will work overtime to seek a conviction. Fortunately, an experienced criminal defense attorney will know successful defense strategies to protect you against false accusations or charges that do not warrant the offense. Entrapment, unwitting possession, and lack of possession are just a few of them.
If you find yourself under investigation or facing charges, don't assume the evidence against you is so substantial that accepting a plea agreement is your only option. There is always an effective defense and the sooner you put an experienced South Carolina drug charges defense lawyer on your side, the better chance you have of protecting your rights and your future.
A few defense strategies that are often effective
There are constitutional protections against police entrapment. One of the most popular forms of entrapment is planting drugs on your property. Entrapment can also take the form of a police officer persuading someone into purchasing drugs when they wouldn't normally do so. Your lawyer will need to prove that you had no previous intention to commit a crime or buy drugs, and that you did so only because the police officer coerced or pressured you to do it. It is completely legal for police officers to provide opportunities for a suspected criminal to slip up, but completely fabricating an event to "manufacture" a crime is against your rights.
Another way to defend yourself is through an unwitting possession defense. Unwitting possession means you possessed illegal substances without knowing you had them in the first place. Remember, the intent is a significant component of any criminal charge.
Lack of control
A lack of possession may also be a successful defense. With this defense, the defendant claims that the drugs actually belonged to someone else or that they were legally allowed to carry the drugs. This can take many forms, but one of those is through constructive possession, in which an individual has control of property even if it isn't in their direct physical control. This may be the case when a car full of people is pulled over for a traffic stop and the police arrest only the driver after discovering a bag of marijuana lying on the rear passenger seat.
The police will read your rights, but they won't explain the law
In order for the prosecutor to convict you of a criminal charge, it must be proven that you're guilty without reasonable doubt, including the intent to knowingly break the law. While under investigation or after an arrest, the police and prosecutor will look for every opportunity to get a conviction. Don't expect them to help you understand the law. It is important for you to retain an experienced criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights.