If you are convicted of drug possession in Pennsylvania, you may face a fine, a jail or prison sentence or other serious penalties. However, there are multiple strategies that you may use in an effort to get such a charge reduced or dismissed entirely.
The drugs aren’t yours
A common criminal defense strategy is to show that the drugs found at your house or in your car don’t actually belong to you. If another person admits to owning a controlled substance, that individual may be charged instead.
Evidence was collected improperly
The Fourth Amendment provides protection against illegal searches and seizures. In other words, authorities generally can’t search your home, car or other property without a warrant. However, authorities can perform searches if you don’t have a reasonable expectation of privacy. In the event that your rights were violated, a judge may suppress evidence collected in an improper or illegal manner.
It only looks like drugs
Sugar, flour or oregano could be mistaken for drugs if they are stored in a suspicious manner. Of course, this doesn’t mean that possessing these items is something that you can be taken into custody for. Anything that is seized from your home is supposed to be tested to ensure that it is a controlled substance. If tests come back inconclusive or negative, that will likely be enough to have a drug possession charge dropped.
As a general rule, the prosecutor in your case is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the law was broken. Therefore, casting doubt about the evidence in your case may result in a favorable outcome.