If you are facing drug possession charges in Illinois, it is extremely important to begin working with an experienced Chicago drug possession defense lawyer as soon as possible. It is also important to learn more about possible defenses that may be available to you to beat the drug possession charges you are facing. Under Illinois law, there are a variety of statutes that govern drug possession charges. For example, the Cannabis Control Act governs cannabis possession offenses, while the Illinois Controlled Substances Act governs many other types of drug possession charges, including offenses related to heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine possession.
Regardless of the type of drug for which you are facing possession charges, you may be able to rely on a common defense strategy that is tailored to the specific facts of your case with the help of a Chicago criminal defense attorney. The following are five common defenses to drug possession charges in Illinois.
Unlawful Search and Seizure in Violation of the Fourth Amendment
Under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, law enforcement officials must have reasonable suspicion to stop you for drug possession, and probable cause to search you for drugs. If you were unlawfully searched, you may be able to argue that you were subject to a violation of the Fourth Amendment.
You Are Lawfully Allowed to Possess Medical Marijuana
Under the Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, people with certain medical conditions who are medical marijuana cardholders can lawfully possess marijuana. If you are one of these people, showing that you are lawfully allowed to possess cannabis can be a defense to any possession charges you may be facing.
You Had a Prescription for the Drug
In some cases, people are charged with drug possession for having certain types of prescription medications without having a valid prescription. If you are facing charges for being in possession of a particular medication (such as Oxycontin or another opioid, for example) without having a valid prescription for that drug, your lawyer may be able to have the charges dropped if you can show that you do in fact have a prescription for the drug.
Police Planted Drugs
In some situations, defendants have been able to prove that law enforcement officers planted the drugs that led to possession charges. A criminal defense attorney can discuss whether this defense may be possible in your case.
Crime Lab Made a Mistake in Testing the Drug
When you are facing charges for a drug like cocaine or heroin, the crime lab typically will conduct a test on the substance you had in your possession to prove that it is actually the type of drug for which you are facing possession charges. There are many ways that a crime lab error can result in a successful defense in a possession case. For example, one of the technicians at the crime lab might have accidentally tainted the substance by testing it immediately after touching and testing another substance that turned out to be cocaine. Or, the technician might not have been trained properly in testing a particular type of substance, which can also be used as part of a defense strategy.
Contact a Drug Defense Lawyer in Chicago
Are you facing drug possession charges? It is important to begin working with a Chicago drug defense lawyer as soon as possible to build your defense. Contact the Law Offices of Jonathan Minkus to find out about the criminal defense service we provide to clients in the Chicago area.