Although it appears that many states across the country have significantly decriminalized drug possession and use, the fact remains that the war on drugs rages on. Law enforcement officers continue to aggressively pursue those who they believe have run afoul of the law, and prosecutors are eager to impose serious penalties upon those they convict. These penalties can be devastating, too, including prison time, ruinous fines, and a record that could affect your immigration status.
If you’re in this situation, then you need to be prepared to aggressively defend yourself. Don’t simply agree with a plea deal offered by prosecutors. Instead, you should carefully consider the facts of your case in light of the law. You might be surprised to find that you have strong criminal defense options at your disposal, including the suppression of what could otherwise be damaging evidence.
There are a variety of ways to suppress evidence. One of the best ways is to show some sort of illegal act on behalf of law enforcement. For example, far too often police officers conduct traffic stops without the requisite reasonable suspicion that a crime has occurred. In these instances, any incriminating evidence that is subsequently gathered is considered “fruit of the poisonous tree,” meaning that it is tainted and unusable against an accused individual. The same holds true for searches and seizures that are conducted without probable cause.
Understanding what, exactly, constitutes reasonable suspicion and probable cause requires an acute command of the law. But that shouldn’t frighten you. Instead, it should motivate you to seek out the support you need to properly defend yourself. After all, doing so may be the only way to suppress evidence and avoid the harsh penalties with which you’ve been threatened.