Controlled Substance / Drug charges

iStock_000016848958SmallIf you are charged with possession of a controlled substance, manufacturing, or an intent to distribute charge, it is important to consult and retain an experienced criminal defense attorney. The criminal defense lawyers at Wessels & Arsenault, LLC are familiar with the Colorado controlled substance laws and can help you navigate or identify possible defenses that you hadn’t contemplated. Before going to Court and making a plea, ALWAYS consult with counsel given the magnitude and scope of making a guilty plea. Your options and the possible consequences are not always immediately clear at the time you are asked to make a plea in Court. Some defenses may be available to you and you did not even know it:

Fourth Amendment – unlawful search and seizure
Our Constitution amongst other rights, protects the right against unreasonable search and seizure prior to an arrest. Searches are common in almost all drug possession cases. It is true that controlled substances found in “plain view,” such as in a car seat during a legal traffic stop, can be used against you as evidence in a criminal charge. However, if the controlled substances were in the trunk of a vehicle and the police used a crowbar to access the trunk without your permission, they may not be able to be entered into evidence. If as a result, your fourth amendment rights were violated during a search, then the evidence is unable to be used against you at trial and the charges are typically dismissed.

Ownership/Possession
A defense to any controlled substance charge is that it does not nor did they ever belong to you. A quality defense attorney knows how to pressure a District Attorney into proving that a controlled substance found in a vehicle actually belonged to the person who is charged, and not one of the other passengers.

Lab Analysis
Are the substances in question actually what you are being accused of? Is it possible that the marijuana in the backseat was actually oregano? The State has the burden to demonstrate that the confiscated item is actually an illegal substance. It is also up to the crime lab analyst to testify that the item in question is actually the substance named in the ticket or summons.

Missing Drugs?
Are the prosecutors able to bring the actual drugs or controlled substance you are being accused of to Court on the day of trial? Prosecutors must show that they still have the drugs that were used to originally charge the Defendant, or the case against them may be dismissed. Seized substances are often transferred around between multiple parties before they end up in the evidence locker, so it should not be assumed necessarily that the evidence still exists prior to the trial.

Planted Drugs
Although this isn’t the most commonly invoked defense, it is successful under the right circumstances. If your attorney can successfully motion the Court to release the Complaint file of the arresting officer, you can undermine the credibility of the officer in question. The Complaint file contains contact information of parties making complaints against an officer which can then be reviewed or investigated by a private investigator or attorney.

If you are facing one or more controlled substance charges, for cocaine, marijuana, LSD, heroin, vicodin, oxycontin, peyote (mescaline), or magic mushrooms (psilocybin), then please contact one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys. We will help assess how strong the State’s case is against you and help you determine whether you should take the case to trial or work out an alternative arrangement.

Our controlled substances defense attorneys are experienced in the Colorado court system across the entire Front Range. The controlled substances defense attorneys at Wessels & Arsenault are available in Denver, Boulder, Broomfield, Brighton, Lakewood, Aurora, Westminster, Stapleton, Englewood, Golden, Wheatridge, Littleton, Arvada, Jefferson County, Broomfield County, Arapahoe County, Denver County, and Boulder County. We can offer a FREE consultation with one of our criminal defense lawyers to help you decide which is the best path for you.